I believe that black lives matter. Racism continues to be present in our society. Geosciences has taken part in marginalization and discrimination and today, it remains one of the least diverse STEM fields. The exclusion of minoritized groups from research, knowledge, and academic discourse is unethical. This is a paramount issue that must be addressed. It is, and will remain, our responsibility to educate and prioritize the steps necessary to dismantle this system of oppression in science and society.

 
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I am a PhD student at the University of Washington. I am an aqueous geochemist with a focus on microbial - water - sediment interactions. I am interested in the interconnection between the organic and inorganic realms, particularly within "extreme" environments. My current work is aiming to quantify sorption and retention of heavy metals into archaea cell surfaces. Thanks for visiting!

 

EDUCATION

2021-Present

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

PhD in Earth and Space Science under Dr. Drew Gorman-Lewis

January 2018 - August 200

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

Masters of Science in Geology under Dr. Dorothy Vesper

August 2014 - December 2017

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

Bachelors of Science in Geology with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

 

RESEARCH GALLERY

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The allegheny front is pictured above. This is the structural front between the Appalachian Plateau and the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Provinces. Work in the valley and ridge was aimed at understand the groundwater flow within karst aquifers.

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The chemical characterization of cave sediments involved quantifying elemental makeup of sediments through X-Ray fluorescence using matrix specific calibrations.

Cave sediments hold an archive of useful information on past climate and contamination! My thesis work was focused on the chemical characterization of cave sediments.

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A majority of my dissertation will focus on identifying mechanisms involved in sorption onto cell surfaces, particularly archaea. More to come! (photo credit: Dr. Drew Gorman-Lewis)

During the summer of 2021 we worked through the analytical methodology for identifying  mineral phases within microbial induced carbonate precipitation using FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy). This work was done in collaboration with the Biogeotechnics Lab at The University of Washington.

My work focuses on the connection between field and lab work (and the discrepancy between the two). My M.S. work focused on cave sedimentation in response to extreme weather events on the Island of Puerto Rico through a combination of field and laboratory work.  This work was funded through the NIH Superfund Research Program. This grant, called PROTECT (Puerto Rico Test Site for Exploring Contamination Threats), aims at linking the exceptionally high preterm birthrate in Puerto Rico to groundwater contamination.

I am really interesting in natural organic matter dynamics within extreme environments. The use of fluorescence spectroscopy is used to better characterize organic matter.

Learn more about my FS work here
 

EXPERIENCE

June 2021- Present

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT

University of Washington

August 2020 - April 2021

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

West Virginia University

January 2018 - July 2020

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT

West Virginia University 
Instructor for intro level Geology labs 
Lecture assistant for upper division Geochemistry, Geomathematics, and Hydrogeology

 

A NOTE TO FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS

I am a first generation student in higher education. I understand the hardships associated with navigating academia as a first generation student. There are many resources available to you! The McNair scholars program is focused on supporting minoratized groups and first generation students from undergraduate through to your PhD. They were an excellent resource to me and I encourage anyone interested to apply! See the link below for more information. In addition, it is an important goal of mine to mentor and advise young first generation scientists. Please do not hesitate to contact me! Diversity makes science better!

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VOLUNTEERING AND OUTREACH

UW ROCKIN' OUT

September 2021

Rockin' Out is an Earth and Space Sciences outreach organization at the University of Washington, particularly with K-12 students.

UW EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE DIVERSITY COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE

Committee works with other department representatives (staff, faculty, undergrads, etc.) to develop strategies for the department and the college with respect to JEDI issues. Committee attends to student concerns and perspectives addressing barriers to opportunity and access across race, gender, class, ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, geography, citizenship status, and other factors.

September 2021

UW MATH SCIENCE UPWARD BOUND

July 2021

This program serves low-income and potential first-generation college students interested in STEM fields from Cleveland, Chief Sealth, Foster, and Franklin High Schools in King County in Washington State. Resources help eligible high school students excel in high school, get accepted to college and STEM majors, and graduate with a STEM degree.

GRADUATE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

Represent graduate students to faculty; attend and report on faculty meetings; make sure graduate students' voices are heard in the department by reporting at faculty meetings and/or through emails to department chair or committee chairs; pass on faculty concerns to grad students.

August 2019

ACCESSIBILITY NOTETAKER

Provided course notes for the Office of Accessibility Services. Efforts enhanced the educational opportunities for students with temporary and permanent disabilities.

January 2017

 
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AWARDS AND HONORS

PROVOST'S EXCELLENCE FELLOWSHIP

October 2021

Department of Earth and Space Science, University of Washington

GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH GRANT

May 2019

Geological Society of America

MILTON TIDD AND DORIS E. HEALD PROMISING RESEARCHER AWARD

April 2019

Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University

MCNAIR SCHOLAR

June 2017

U.S. Department of Education

EBERLY SCHOLAR

April 2017

Eberly College of Arts and Science, West Viriginia University

 

HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

Just for Fun

READING

Especially fantasy fiction!

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RAISING AND RELEASING BUTTERFLIES

I inherited this hobby from my Aunt. I am a pretty decent caterpillar eggs hunter! I release ~100 butterflies per season, mostly Monarchs!

 
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"What kind of society could we create if, instead, we drummed into them science and a sense of hope?"

Carl Sagan

 

LET’S CONNECT

Thanks for submitting!

 

I acknowledge and thank the original caretakers of the land on which I live and work in the greater Seattle Washington region. These are the ancestral lands of the Coastal Salish peoples, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckelshoot nations.