I was born and raised lakeside in Northern Michigan where access to the Great Lakes led to an early affinity for all things freshwater. I took this interest to the University of Michigan where I got a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a focus on hydrology and freshwater aquatics. As an undergrad student, I was fortunate to be able to spend two summers at UM’s Biological Station taking courses about algae in freshwater ecosystems and conducting my first phycological research projects with Pat Kociolek and Rex Lowe. These courses introduced me to the world of slime, and (after an initial dislike) I developed a deep love of diatoms.

I continued to study under Dr. Kociolek’s direction at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and I completed a Master’s in CU’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. My graduate research focused on the history, taxonomy, and phylogenetic relationships of the Orthoseiraceae. I chased waterfalls in Michigan, Colorado, and Hawaii in search of these aerophiles.

Since completing my Master’s I have been a research assistant in the Kociolek Lab. My interests include the ecology, taxonomy, systematics, and phylogenetics of freshwater diatoms.