About Me

Photo credit: Steve Buchmann (http://stephenbuchmann.com/)
Photo credit: Steve Buchmann (http://stephenbuchmann.com/)

I am a graduate candidate at Drexel University studying neuroanatomy and thermoregulation in Hymenoptera (bees, ants, wasps) in the lab of Dr. Sean O’Donnell. My thesis work is on Centris pallida male alternative reproductive tactics and how task specialization may impact brain resource allocation, microclimate use, and behavior under climate change.

I am also earning my Masters in Undergraduate STEM Education with the CASTLE Center (Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence) at Drexel and studying the impacts of active learning strategies on content retention and skill development in undergraduate STEM students. My non-thesis research takes me to the Sonoran Desert each year, where I partner with researchers at University of Arizona to study Centris mating behaviors and ovary development, as well as to the Huyck Research Preserve in New York to study Isodontia auripes brood chambers, and to Cienfuegos, Cuba to study pollinator community structure in tropical ecosystems.

During college, I earned my dual-major in Biology and Creative Writing – combining science and writing has always been a key feature of my life. One of my senior year capstone projects evaluated the role of science and the portrayal of scientists in drama throughout history (called: Science on Stage: An Examination of Scientific Rhetoric, advised by Dr. Melanie Blood). My own science writing, including published ecopoetry, a play on the ethics of cloning, and many articles on science, can be found in my website’s ‘library’ here. I am also a lover of all kinds of games, with a soft spot for RPGs and strategic board games.

Photo Credit: Chandler Olson, Cuba 2018