I am a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Tanya Renner’s lab at Penn State University. The Renner lab investigates the evolutionary history and genomic mechanisms of functional adaptations in carnivorous plants and bombardier beetles. I am using the cape sundew, Drosera capensis L. (Droseraceae, Caryophyllales), as a model organism to identify the genes and signaling pathways involved in Drosera carnivory, map the genomic architecture of carnivory genes given historical and lineage-specific polyploidization, and compare how carnivorous habits evolved across additional lineages in the order Caryophyllales. Through this research I aim to address the broader questions of functional evolution and gene co-option following whole-genome and tandem duplication events, and more specifically address the evolution and regulation of the carnivorous habit in Drosera.
I received my PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, advised by Dr. Kenneth J. Sytsma. The Sytsma lab specializes in plant systematics and uses phylogenomics and morphometrics to study biogeography, phylogeography, and patterns of trait evolution.
I was a Bonner Scholar at Oberlin College and Conservatory and completed a double degree in biology and piano performance.
I was raised in New York City, but I have enjoyed attending college and graduate school in the Midwest. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my adopted pup, Chara, reading novels, and playing piano.