I'm a conservation scientist and naturalist combining research and nature interpretation to change how we manage, protect, and relate to the natural world. Below, you can find details on my career path, credentials and current and past affiliations in my academic (scientific) and on-the-ground conservation work.
My research is based on an applied and results-oriented approach, borrowing tools and concepts from diverse disciplines to inform policy and management for biodiversity conservation in the real world. To learn more about my scientific work, see my Publications page for a list of my academic publications and my Research page for an overview of my research priorities and specifics on past and current projects.
I began my career in conservation science as an undergraduate research fellow in the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology at Connecticut College, where I was exposed to diverse conservation issues and modes of inquiry in environmental science. I completed a senior honor's thesis tackling philosophical issues in biodiversity conservation with Professors Bob Askins and Derek Turner, then went on to conduct postgraduate field research at Archbold Biological Station and Hastings Natural History Reservation for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
I then joined the Biology Department at Tufts University as a graduate student and doctoral fellow in the NSF IGERT traineeship in Water Diplomacy. There, I conducted research on endangered Hawaiian waterbirds and wildlife conservation through water management under the mentorship of Professor J. Michael Reed. I defended my PhD dissertation in 2018 and completed the Water: Systems, Science and Society certificate program.
After my PhD., I received a Fulbright Early Career Scholar award to conduct my research at Doñana Biological Station in Seville, Spain, where I studied flooding impacts on waterbird movements. In 2019, I moved to Flathead Lake Biological Station at the University of Montana where I worked as a postdoctoral research scientist on a NASA-funded project designing predictive tools to help managers anticipate species invasion hotspots in freshwater systems.
I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the River Basin Center and Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. As part of the Network for Engineering With Nature (N-EWN), I work to explore the incredible biodiversity benefits that could be achieved with broader use of nature-based infrastructure for water management.
I continuously seek ways to engage in on-the-ground conservation through field work, volunteering, and by applying my research and natural history skills.
Past Work and Affiliations
As an undergraduate student, I served as a conservation technician, volunteer coordinator and translator for WIDECAST Costa Rica on a large-scale project protecting Caribbean populations of Leatherback sea turtles. Early in my career, I worked as a field technician in shorebird conservation for the Trustees of Reservations in Massachusetts and on a shrubland bird conservation project in Connecticut for the National Audubon Society. During my PhD, I volunteered each fall as a migratory bird bander at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts, and spent 6 months as a visiting conservation scientist for the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) in Bozeman, Montana. My work with CLLC focused on cross-realm conservation for the Missouri headwaters and other watersheds around Yellowstone National Park.
Since 2015, I have acted as the advisory and now Lead Ecologist for the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, a grassroots environmental non-profit dedicated to the preservation and conservation of important ecological and cultural sites in Eastern Honolulu. Together, we have protected valuable habitats in Southeastern O'ahu, competed successfully for grants from the Disney Conservation Fund and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's partnership program, and collected valuable monitoring data for a conservation evidence approach to habitat enhancement for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. I also serve on the advisory board of several other non-profit organizations including K9 Conservationists, a nonprofit that helps conservation scientists collect ecological data using specially trained detection dogs.