After years of education, research experience, and teaching experience I am currently completing a Ph.D., the next step along my career path. Having completed a Masters in Science Education, teaching high school for two and a half years as well as a Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I have a clear path of my desired career: one within the realm of academia. Ultimately, my goal is to become a professor, maintaining an active laboratory with a focus on undergraduate education.
I believe in the importance of rigorous classroom studies, as well as research experiences for students- I would not be where I am today without the research opportunities that were afforded to me as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. During my M.S. program at Florida State, I was able to give an undergraduate student a similar opportunity and truly enjoyed the experience; being able to work one-on-one with a young researcher and teach him the skills of project design and implementation from start to finish was incredible! I’m quite proud to say that this young man is now engaged in his own graduate work.
Being able to mentor undergraduates, in addition to my teaching responsibilities, has further cemented my goal of becoming a professor- I love being able to teach, do my own research, and guide young biologists in developing into research scientists. Throughout my graduate studies, I have worked to expand my own background in the field of ecology, gain experience in project design, increase my research skill set and learn the invaluable art of grant procurement.
From a research perspective, I am beginning the work from which I intend to one day build my own research program, pursuing ecological questions pertaining to population and community dynamics, plant-insect interactions, and how these respond to anthropogenic influences.