I am a mycologist and evolutionary biologist interested in understanding how organisms adapt to changing ecological contexts. To this end, I have two research goals: determining the genetic bases of adaptation, and evaluating how selection impacts the evolution of genes and genomes. I work to answer these questions in a variety of fungal systems, mostly plant pathogens and mutualists, using a combination of molecular, manipulative, and computational experiments.
As a Presidential Fellow and FRQNT Doctoral Scholar at the Ohio State University working with Jason C. Slot, I developed algorithms for studying the evolution of fungal genome organization in response to selection by plant defense compounds. Since graduating, I have been working as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Corlett W. Wood at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania to investigate the consequences of genetic trade-offs in multi-species interactions. I will continue developing these research themes in September 2021 as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow with Daniel Croll at the University of Neuchâtel by determining how genetic and environmental constraints together shape fungal evolution.
Mentorship is an important part of my day-to-day activities, both inside and outside of the lab. I work as a career coach through the ScholarMatch program, whose mission is to support first-generation college students to earn a bachelor’s degree. I have also worked as a mentor with the University of Pittsburgh’s Gene Team outreach summer program for high school students, and am currently working as a mentor in the University of Pennsylvania’s FERBS program whose goal is to support students from underrepresented groups transition into college.
I am committed to building community and developing new opportunities for early career researchers. I am a founding member of the Canadian Fungal Research Network, an organization whose aim is to strengthen fungal research in Canada by facilitating dialogue among scientists both within Canada and abroad. I co-organized our first national conference in July 2020, and chaired the organization of our second conference in May 2021, held in conjunction with the Great Lakes Mycological Meetings. You can access the CanFunNet white paper here, the 2020 conference program here, and check out the 2021 conference here.