I grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland and developed a love for nature at a young age. Because I gravitated academically towards STEM fields, I attended the Magnet Program at Montgomery Blair High School where I developed fundamental quantitative skills in math, science, and computer science. I interned with Dr. Daniel Gruner and Alex Forde the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) during the summer before my senior year, and studied the plant-insect interactions of insect herbivores (mostly Orthoptera) and the black mangrove through field studies in northern Florida salt marshes. I fell in love with ecology that summer, and continued working with the Gruner Lab during my undergraduate studies at UMCP and also while completing my Honors Thesis in Entomology. After graduation, I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to pursue a PhD in Ecology at Colorado State University with Dr. Ruth Hufbauer. Find out more about my research interests here. I love living so close to the mountains where I enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and climbing. After graduation, my goal is to work as a federal research scientist so that my work can more directly impact natural resource management and environmental policy.