You can generally find me hiking and exploring nature with my dog, enjoying a glass of wine or coffee, or practicing my photography skills. Although my research focuses on mammals, I am an avid birder too.
Honestly, I enjoy all wildlife and have from a young age. I'm from a small town in Illinois where I grew up exploring the forest that made up my backyard. My siblings and I would find toads under our sheds and search for turtles & other wildlife in the Sangamon river. My father and I would horseback ride deep into the woods and see deer grazing and the occasional fox or coyote passing by. Reading was encouraged, and I probably read every book on animals in our small library to my mother. These experiences, from the childhood field surveys to the simple textbooks about animals that I grew up reading made me fascinated by nature and desire to learn more. And here I am today.
I don't explore the forest as much but I am still learning about the diversity of life. I am passionate about species conservation and wanting to know more about how we can protect the biodiversity we have around us through genetic and field practices.