In the broadest sense, my scientific thrust is to understand the emergence and evolution of functional complexity across different scales of biological organization, from molecules and cells, to organisms and populations. In my PhD work I developed a specific interest in studying molecular mechanisms that enable and constrain the generation of biodiversity, with particular focus on the control of reproductive system evolution via phenotypic plasticity in flies. In the Kronforst lab I will study the molecular ‘design’ of migration (i.e. How does migration work?) and how this influences the evolution of the migration strategy. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) will serve as the principal model for this research.
I am also deeply committed to promoting science appreciation and literacy to under-represented and/or underserved communities (with strong interest in communities of color), and will achieve this goal through writing, mentoring, and a combination of traditional and innovative programming.
PhD (2014), Biology. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA).
Thesis: Developmental and Genetic Mechanisms of Ovariole Number Evolution in Drosophila
Advisor: Cassandra Extavour
BS (2008), Biology. MIT (Cambridge, MA).
Senior Project: Conserved Secondary Elements of the Dengue Virus 3’UTR are Sufficient to Confer Significant Partial Virus Translation
Advisors: Lee Gehrke (Harvard Medical School), Glover Martin III (Harvard Medical School)