Currently, I am a staff member and a PhD student in Dr. Evelyn Gaiser's lab at Florida International University. I count soft algae for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. It feels so good to be part of a group that genuinely wants to make the world a better place...and with algae!

My love of diatoms stems from past work for a non-profit organization ( that conducts continuous river monitoring along the Savannah River and surrounding oxbows. Exploring diatom assemblages in the Savannah River to better understand water quality led me to pursue a master's degree at Georgia College & State University with the amazing Dr. Kalina Manoylov! Before training under her, I remember going into her office with my boss at the time to ask about some diatom identifications. I brought my notebook full of notes and very bad hand drawings. Ha! She was patient and politely encouraged me to take both the diatoms and soft algae courses at Lakeside Lab (highly recommend). From there, my interests grew more and more.

The beauty of soft algae and the morphological plasticity of diatom species like Gomphonema taxa continue to draw me in. I could spend a lifetime studying and appreciating these organisms and I am so glad they found me!