“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.”

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

IMG_0961 (1)-001I am an ecosystem scientist and writer whose work focuses on illuminating the tangled web of relationships between plants, microbes, soils, and the environment.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Montana, where I help lead an NSF-funded research coordination network focusing on improving Earth system models (how we predict future climate change!) by more accurately representing the cycling of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. I collaborate with both modelers and field researchers for this work.

I am dedicated to sharing scientific information accurately, accessibly, and humanly. In summer 2020, I had the amazing opportunity to sharpen my communication skills as a science reporter The Wichita Eagle, in Wichita KS, through the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship.

I completed my Ph.D. in Soils & Biogeochemistry in 2018 at the University of California, Davis, where I worked with Dr. Ben Houlton. My dissertation research focused on a variety of plant-soil-microbe interactions in the terrestrial nitrogen cycle.

I am passionate about equity in both STEM fields and outdoor spaces – two places I spend a lot of time in as a field-based scientist. In 2017, I worked with a group of graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff at UC Davis to found Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science (GOALS), a free field-based science and leadership education program for high school girls, gender-expansive, and non-binary youth identifying with girlhood. I served as the program chair from 2017-2019.

I am grateful for the incredible privilege to ask questions about the natural places I love, and to try to answer these questions through experiments.  My goal as a scientist, educator, and writer is to share the sheer joy of asking such questions and understanding the world around us a little bit better, and to make those opportunities more inclusive and accessible for all. For me, scientific exploration is one of the most fascinating and exciting ways to interact and connect with the natural world, and I hope to promote understanding and connecting with nature as a pathway to developing deeper empathy for the planet, other human beings, and ourselves.