I completed my Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Connecticut with Morgan Tingley. Broadly, my interests are centered around ecology in a changing world, with a particular emphasis on how climate change, agriculture, and urbanization affect wildlife across the individual, species, and ecological scales. My Ph.D. used a combination of field work across environmental gradients and data collected by citizen scientists to understand how birds have shifted and will continue shift (or not) with climate induced range shifts. Additionally, I used DNA metabarcoding to understand how species interactions – hummingbird pollination and insect predation – have changed across urban and natural environments.
I am now a postdoctoral scholar with Daniel Karp in the Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology department at the University of California, Davis. I am excited to continue to investigate the effects of land-use change on avian community ecology, and how this may have cascading consequences on food safety. My projects here are three-fold to better understand the risk birds have on human agricultural systems. First, I will investigate which birds are the most likely vectors of multiple human pathogens. Next, I will be looking at how avian communities on farms change in relation to rangeland – an alternative use of agricultural land associated with large mammals. Finally, I will be investigating pathogen survival from a variety of species in field and lab settings. Overall, the goal of this project is to provide a more holistic understanding of the role birds in agriculture and human health.