I am a PhD Student in the McKenzie Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. My research looks at how different microbiome characteristics (diversity, stability, composition) affect establishment of pathogens and infectious diseases. Specifically, I use theory from classic community and invasion ecology to ask questions about the invasibility of host microbiomes. There are currently two ongoing projects: my first project attempts to identify different mechanisms that make probiotics effective, and how this may increase their efficacy in preventing microbial diseases; my second project asks how biofilm thickness and composition interact to influence invasion success by pathogenic microbes.
I have a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia (Parfrey Lab). For my Master’s, I looked at the various factors that control microbial settlement on seaweeds. I conducted two experiments to test (a) whether seaweed shape interacted with water flow to differentially effect microbial settlement on seaweed surfaces and (b) whether seaweeds growing in close proximity share microbes with each other. During this time, I was also a part of the Botany Graduate Student’s Association, which is a group that organizes various academic and non-academic events for Botany Graduate students.
Lastly, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Honours Biology. For my undergraduate thesis (Parfrey Lab), I studied the shifts that occur in water column microbial communities along large salinity gradients. My previous work experience also includes a position in the Berbee Lab (UBC) as a Fungal Research Assistant.
In my spare time, I enjoy drinking coffee, hiking, running, and playing the ukulele. I also love exploring the wonderful selection of breweries that exist here in Colorado.