I am an environmental sciences scholar at Duke University. In both my research and teaching, I pursue questions that are best addressed through multidisciplinary learning and collaboration between the environmental science and policy fields. I am currently in my final year of the doctoral program in Environmental Health at Duke University where I work with Richard Di Giulio and Emily Bernhardt.
As a scientist, I am interested in how biological, chemical, and physical stressors impact freshwater ecosystems. Broadly, my research is motivated by two questions:
- How does environmental degradation affect aquatic ecosystems?
- How do ecosystem-specific features influence the magnitude or duration of these effects?
For the past several years, I have been studying the fate of trace element contaminants from the coal ash waste stream in freshwater ecosystems. I am particularly interested in how the ecotoxicity of certain elements is mediated by their movement (or lack of movement) through aquatic food webs. This work sits within the larger political and regulatory context of coal ash disposal and ecosystem management in North Carolina and at the federal level.
As an educator, my primary goal is for students to identify the environmental problems or questions that interest them most and subsequently to develop the skills they need in order to successfully pursue those questions. In my classes, students learn about feedbacks among environmental sectors (e.g., the food-energy-water nexus), and about the political forces that shape environmental and public health policy.
I am passionate about environmental protection. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I spent a lot of my childhood in Yosemite National Park. Those experiences were formative and I've been passionate about environmental protection since I was young. While all spaces can't be preserved in the same way as the national parks, I trust that environmental research and effective science communication can inform sustainable use of our natural resources. During my time at Duke, I've gained valuable science translation and communication experience by consulting for the Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and participating in the Environmental Health Scholars Program. I integrate this training into my research and teaching with the goal of becoming an effective ambassador for science policy and inspiring similar collaboration in the upcoming generation of environmental scientists.
News & Updates
May 17, 2018
Signed on for a Postdoctoral Research Position with the USGS Fort Collins. Looking forward to working with David Walters and Travis Schmidt on contaminant flux modeling and trace element interactions in aquatic food webs using robust spatiotemporal datasets!
May 12, 2018
Duke University Hooding Ceremony! Grateful for incredible mentoring and friendships during my doctoral training.
March 1, 2018
Successfully defended my PhD today! Coal combustion residuals in receiving lake ecosystems: Trophic Transfer, toxicity, and tracers. Thankful for those who have contributed to this great experience over the last 5 years.
Dissertation is in! Two weeks until the big day.
November 30, 2017
At Duke's Environmental Health Scholars Forum this week discussing latest NC research on environmental exposures and outcomes. There are exciting and important opportunities at the Science+Policy+Law intersection.
November 15, 2017
Great 2017 SETAC meeting in Minneapolis! Presented recent work on CCRs in lake ecosystems.
November 14, 2017
Duke's Environmental Law & Policy Clinic filed a rulemaking petition with NC State Gov. to limit CO2 emissions and transition to fossil-free economy. I worked on this petition last year as a PhD student consultant and am very proud of the incredible team effort!
November 10, 2017
Gave my dissertation seminar for Duke's Environmental Health program today!
June 6, 2017
Had a blast at SFS meeting in Raleigh, NC! Session on "Stressing the "Eco" in Ecotoxicology" was a hit thanks to our great speakers.