Education and Experience
2014- Present: Ph.D. Student in Ecology and Zoology at the University of Wyoming
NSF GRFP Fellow
2013-2014: Research Assistant at Think Elephants International in Chiang Rai, Thailand
2009-2013: B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology from the University of Michigan
Minor in French & Francophone Studies
I am intrigued by animal cognition, human-animal interactions, and individual differences in behavior. Specifically, I investigate personality and problem-solving abilities of zebra finches and Asian elephants. I also enjoy reading and writing, traveling, going to the beach, and tap dancing!
How I became a scientist
I grew up playing vet for my dog and conducting Jane Goodall-inspired observations of deer in my backyard. After attending a primate behavior and conservation field course in Costa Rica during my time at Michigan, I decided to pursue a career in animal behavior and conservation. I completed my honors thesis on tolerance of humans by squirrels. I worked for Think Elephants International, a nonprofit in Thailand, designing and carrying out cognitive experiments with Asian elephants. This experience solidified my interest in comparative animal cognition research as well as in designing conservation education curriculum. I am pursuing a Ph.D. to ultimately achieve my goal of becoming an animal behavior research professor.
How my research benefits society
I was awarded a fellowship from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program to conduct research on Asian elephant cognition. My research aims to increase our understanding of the ecological importance of animal personality and problem-solving ability. In addition, this research will eventually be used to inform human-elephant conflict mitigation techniques.