I grew up in Upstate New York, where getting outdoors was always an important part of my life. Whether it was skiing and hiking in the Finger Lakes, fishing around Lake Ontario, or riding my bike through the local county parks, I was happy to just get outside. I was fortunate enough to go to college close by at Cornell University where I learned that I could actually make a career out of exploring the very thing that was most interesting to me: the natural world.
I earned both my Masters and Doctorate degrees in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at North Carolina State University. My research has spanned focal systems and taxa, including the effects of fire on bird communities in the Sierra Nevada and the implications of rising sea level on endangered rodents in the Florida Keys. A central theme unifying these seemingly disparate studies is the role of disturbance in maintaining biodiversity across scales. Lately, my research has become increasingly focused on coastal systems where interacting disturbances like fire, salinization, drought, and severe storms make for complex ecological dynamics, particularly as the global climate changes.
Outside of my research, I try to make time for a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, skiing, and mountain biking. However, with two young daughters, I stay pretty busy just exploring our locals forests and streams in North Carolina looking for salamanders and catching fish.