I am a PhD candidate in the McKenzie Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. My research looks at how different microbiome characteristics (diversity, stability, composition) affect establishment success of pathogens and infectious diseases. Specifically, I use theory from classic community and invasion ecology to ask questions about the invasibility of host microbiomes: What microbiome traits make it easy for pathogens to colonize? What traits make it difficult? How can we control these microbiome traits to minimize pathogen risk, and maximize the number of beneficial bacteria?
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, such as (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.
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.
I enjoy being active in my graduate communities. Currently, I am co-chair of Colloquium committee in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at CU Boulder. I was also a part of the executive committee of the Botany Graduate Student’s Association at UBC for two years (Treasurer and Secretary).
In my spare time, I enjoy drinking coffee and beer, hiking, and running.