In short, a total jellyfish nerd.
Currently I am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas, advised under Dr. Paulyn Cartwright (Cartwright Lab). I am interested in the diversification and evolution of venoms within Cnidaria, the earliest diverging venomous animals. I have a bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the College of William and Mary, where I spent four years working with Dr. Jon Allen (Allen Lab) on the early life history of a predatory polyclad flatworm in the Chesapeake Bay. During my bachelors I completed an REU on marine natural products at the University of North Florida under Dr. Amy Lane (Lane Lab) and a NOAA Holling’s Undergraduate Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History under Dr. Allen Collins exploring box jellyfish venom genes.
Needless to say, I dived head on into the science world. I have been captivated by the wonders of jellyfish since middle school, and am incredibly fortunate to be working with jellies and their venoms in my graduate work. I have been heavily involved in science communication, from working at the Columbus Zoo as a high schooler to being a co-chair of Outreach for my Graduate Student Organization to participating in programs like Skype A Scientist or working with Girl Scouts in the Kansas City Area. I started this blog 1) to continue working on my science communication from a new medium and 2) as an outlet to all the amazing science I learn about and want to share.
Welcome to my world of the gelatinous, beware of their sting!