In recent years, a considerable increase in emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) caused by pathogens originating from wildlife populations suggests that such EIDs are a significant and growing threat to global health. Not only are EIDs a major threat to public health, but they can also have devastating impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health, which indirectly affect human health and well-being through decreases in economic and agricultural productivity. Due to the complexity of disease dynamics, much research is needed to understand disease emergence and transmission. I am interested in the ecology of infectious zoonotic disease, studying the spatio-temporal movement of disease among host populations and the factors that cause spillover and emergence of disease in domesticated animals and humans.
My previous research experiences have been broad and varied, ranging from cancer research to field ecology. While at UC Berkeley in 2008 and 2009, I had the opportunity to spend two summers doing fieldwork and trapping mammals for the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains as part of the Grinnell Resurvey Project. After graduating with my B.S., I worked on a research project in the Beissinger and Firestone laboratories at UC Berkeley studying the growth patterns of temperate and tropical microbes that grow on wild bird eggshells. From 2010 to 2012, I spent two years doing health and environmental work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, which furthered my understanding of public health and its intersection with ecology and biodiversity. In the summer of 2012, I worked on a CTR field research project studying avian and swine influenza spillover in Cameroon.
B.S. 2009, Molecular Environmental Biology, University of California, Berkeley