About me as a researcher
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of St. Benedicts and St. John's University in central Minnesota. I also work as a research assistant for Dr. Michael Collyer at Chatham University on expanding the functionality and accessibility of the R program, geomorph. We are also exploring novel ways of integrating modeled performance measures across theoretical morphospace with macroevolutionary examinations of high-dimensional morphological traits. My empirical research investigates the macroevolutionary patterns of beetle elytra in relation to the multiple conflicting functional needs of said trait.
I earned my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University with a minor in Statistics in 2020 under Dr. Dean Adams. My dissertation explored the macroevolutionary patterns of lungless salamanders through their multiple invasions of arboreal microhabitats. This included examining the evolution of complex morphological traits and broad scale climatic niches across the family Plethodontidae.
About me as a teacher
I have taught the following courses:
Anatomy and Physiology (325) - Instructor
Anatomy and Physiology Lab (325L) - Instructor
Intermediate Cell Biology and Genetics (201) - Instructor
Intermediate Cell Biology and Genetics Lab (201L) - Instructor
Applied Human Biology (135) - Instructor
Elementary Statistics (110) - Instructor
The Organism (144) - Instructor
Introductory Biology (101) - Instructor
Yellowstone National Park Field Trip - Co-Instructor
Discussions in Ecology and Evolution Research - Co-Instructor
Vertebrate Biology Lab (365L) - TA
Principles of Biology Lab (212L) - TA
I have also designed and experimentally tested the efficacy of two novel teaching approaches in the Vertebrate Biology Labs. One such approach was qualitatively analyzed across several lab sections and instructors, and the compelling results of efficacy were published in the Journal of Biological Education.
About me outside of work
My husband and I live in Big Lake, MN with our daughter (Quinn) and dog (Lily)!
If I'm not at work or with my family, I'm probably training for, traveling for, coaching, or playing Ultimate Frisbee. Since my brother introduced me to the sport in 2004, I've played on teams all across the country (and 1 Colombian team!), I've won 4 US gold medals, 2 World bronze medals, and 3 World gold medals. I have also coached at the collegiate level for Iowa State University and University of Pittsburgh women's teams.
Other activities I enjoy include gardening, cross-country skiing, disc golfing, wood working, and sewing.