Hi! I am a paleobiologist, science educator and Assistant Professor of Geology & Science Education at Western Washington University. At WWU, I am part of both the Geology Department and the Science Math & Technology Education (SMATE) Program.
My research focuses on the paleoecology of marine gastropods from the Ordovician Period. I'm interested in deciphering the role that gastropods played in these early marine ecosystems, and how those roles may have influenced gastropod evolution throughout the Paleozoic. I'm also interested in issues of taphonomy. I have also worked on a longterm experimental taphonomy project examining rates of decay on mollusk shells placed in various depositional environments in the Gulf of Mexico and that interest has stayed with me as my research moved in the Early Paleozoic. I'm interested in how the extremely poor preservation of Paleozoic gastropod shells may have biased our studies of this clade.
I conduct my field research in the Great Basin Region of the Western United States. I anticipate that I will be expanding my field of research to include the rich Cenozoic marine deposits of the Pacific Northwest once I start at WWU. I will be looking for enthusiastic graduate and undergraduate students interested in marine invertebrate paleobiology, so feel free to contact me!
I'm also interested in a range of issues in STEM education, including the severe underrepresentation of people of color within STEM fields (and the geosciences in particular) and improving accessibility and pathways into the sciences for underrepresented minorities, low income students and first generation college students.
During my time as a graduate student at UCR, I worked on several STEM education programs, including:
- The GEODE Program, an NSF funded program to improve the geoscience education pipeline for high school, community college and UCR undergraduates in Riverside County
- RiSMART, a CA Dept. of Education funded program to prepare 3rd to 8th grade teachers for implementing NGSS-aligned curricula
- Geoscience Education Outreach Program, the UCR Department of Earth Sciences' K-12 outreach program
- Down to Earth Climate Change, a NASA funded program to incorporate climate science into UCR geology curriculum
- Refresh Riverside, an educational fair designed to teach middle school students and their families in Riverside about the impacts of climate change and the importance of sustainability
- Mentoring for high school and undergraduate students