I am an ecologist interested in the impacts of environmental change on natural and managed ecosystems. Currently, I am a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy, on leave from my position as a research scientist in the Department of Botany, University of Wyoming. My research interests are broad and include tropical biogeochemistry as well as the effects of climate change on organisms big and small, from microbes and biological soil crusts to ants and plants. One of the reasons I fell in love with biology is the opportunity to get my hands dirty and my field work takes me to some incredible places, from Canyonlands Utah to southeastern Wyoming and lowland tropical forests in Costa Rica. I combine a strong emphasis on research with an interest in science communication and outreach, thinking about ways to expand the role of science in tackling global issues. Along with a focus on research, I have also coordinated the Organization for Tropical Studies graduate course in tropical biology and in July 2015, a field course in Science Communication. My research and teaching takes me to Costa Rica for a few months every year , where I explore the incredible biological diversity and ecological complexity across the country, teaching students how to design and carry out research projects, and how to communicate about their work in more effective ways.
Most recently, I've teamed up with some amazing women scientists and started Hey Girl Productions. Our mission is to tell compelling stories, grounded in science.