- Assistant Professor of Biology
I fell in love with the ocean early in my childhood – I never wanted to get out of the water! When I got to snorkel for the first time I was completely captivated by the underwater world and the beautiful organisms living in coral reef ecosystems. That fascination sparked an interest in biology, and later, a desire to understand the diverse symbiotic relationships that are the basis for these ecosystems. My research is primarily focused on the microbial symbioses found in cnidarian hosts, including the northern star coral Astrangia poculata, and the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana. I love including undergraduates in my research, and learning from the new ideas they bring to the table. By combining field research, functional ecology, and next-generation sequencing approaches we can gain a deeper understanding of these complex marine symbioses.