Education and Experience
2013 to Present: Ph.D. candidate, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
2013: Masters of Biology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
2011: B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana
My research focuses on observing the rates of biogeochemical cycles in streams. I collect dissolved gas samples from streams to gather data about how nitrogen is changing in streams and how much photosynthesis and respiration is occurring. When I am not working on research projects, I enjoy cooking, reading, running, and ice skating.
How I became a scientist
I began testing out my skills as an aquatic ecologist during middle school by building a dirt mound to prevent a field behind my house from draining. Over the next few years I watched a shallow pond form, cattails grow, and muskrats swim around. When it was warm I waded through the water in my rain boots , while in the winter I walked around on the ice and try not to fall in. When I got to college I cultivated a general interest in biology and ecology, which I have now focused on researching aquatic ecology and nutrient cycling.
Water is an incredibly important recourse for all of us, especially as demand for water in agricultural, residential, and industrial areas increases. Additionally, we are changing the availability of nutrients like nitrate in streams. My research is investigating the rates at which nitrogen changes forms in streams. Because nutrients are needed by aquatic organisms but can be detrimental to ecosystems at high concentrations, understanding what processes change the concentration of different forms of nitrogen is important for maintaining good water quality in our streams and rivers.