I received my Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013 (GO TIGERS!). During my undergraduate, I got a lot of teaching experience as a teaching assistant for Learning Strategies for Freshmen, Forest Ecology, and Forest Health and Protection, which jump-started my interest in becoming a post-secondary educator. I also worked with Dr. Rose-Marie Muzika to study the effects of prescribed fire on ground dwelling arthropods, which encouraged me to pursue more research projects in forest ecology and forest health and feed my curiosity.
In Fall 2013, I left my home state of Missouri to complete my Master of Science in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia, where I worked with Dr. Kamal Gandhi to study Matsucoccus macrocicatrices, a scale insect that feeds on eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) in the southern Appalachian Mountains. After graduating from the University of Georgia in summer 2015, I started my doctorate under the advisement of Dr. Travis Marsico at Arkansas State University. My current research focuses on using biocontrol datasets to better understand mechanisms of invasion, so we can better predict high impact insect invasions. Other aspects of my dissertation are at the interface between invasion ecology and social science, including projects on expert agreement when assessing impact of non-native insects, as well as assessing levels of communication between invasion ecologists and biocontrol professionals.