I am a science writer and communicator currently pursuing a career in research communication.
Most recently, I completed my doctoral degree in the Tobin Disturbance Ecology Lab in the School of Environment and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington, located in Seattle. My doctoral research examines the foraging habits of the native mason bee based on DNA sequencing of pollen provisions collected by bees across a range of urban park systems in western Washington. My current dissertation projects include:
(1) Analysis of weather data collected from citizen science weather stations across western Washington and bee foraging behavior affect bee developmental success;
(2) Genetic sequencing analysis of native bee pollen collected from 24 sites across western Washington identifying plant species visited by native solitary nesting bees, and the general rate of visitation over three years across a variation of landscape characteristics;
(3) Genetic sequencing analysis and identification of bacteria and fungi found in pollen collected from native bees across multiple foraging periods (early, late season) across multi-year periods in western Washington and the affect microbes have on bee developmental success;
(4) Identifying nutritional content of pollen collected from study sites across western Washington to determine how protein, lipid, and individual lipid class levels affect bee developmental success.
My work was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture McIntire-Stennis Capacity Grant, and the UW Hall Conservation Genetics Grant. My research is driven by my love for pollinators, my background in genetics during my undergraduate degree, and my desire to work outdoors as much as possible during my doctoral research.
There is so much we still don’t know about pollinator habits and the impact that landscape changes, invasive species introductions, and climate change will have on the health of native bees. I am always excited to share my ongoing work and findings with the general public, and embrace the communication of science in various forms. I also hold a Bachelor of Science in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota.