I earned a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Missouri in 2013. During my undergraduate career, I conducted experiments regarding the aggressive behavior of male gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). After two years of close interaction with anurans, I became interested in amphibian conservation issues. In the summer of 2012, I traveled to Costa Rica as an NSF REU student and conducted research on thermoregulatory responses of the strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio) to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). This research generated my interest to continue studying amphibian conservation in graduate school.
As a PhD student I hope to gain a better understanding of the complex systems that are driving amphibian population declines and extinctions. Factors that contribute to the decline are numerous but include disease, environmental contaminants, habitat fragmentation, global climate change as well as synergetic effects of all of these components. I am interested in studying the interactions of these various components since although infection with these pathogens may result in high mortality, individuals may also experience sublethal effects that interfere with growth, reproduction and locomotion.