My work focuses on the interplay of ecological and geological processes in coastal environments. I am currently a Research Scientist in the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing (MaRRS) Lab at Duke Marine Lab working with Dr. David Johnston. I help lead the MaRRS Lab’s coastal mapping initiative, whose goal is to advance remote sensing methods, both acquisition and processing, and ultimately enhance coastal management practices.

Originally from Indiana, I completed my B.A in Biology at Hanover College, where I worked with US Fish and Wildlife studying terrestrial burrowing crayfish. After graduating in 2007, I began a master’s degree at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. With the increasing degradation of habitat quality in the Indian River Lagoon, I researched the impact of organic-rich sediment on hard clam settlement. 

I began my doctorate in Marine Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 2012 after working in the Coastal Geology Lab at UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences since 2010, co-advised by Dr. Tony Rodriguez (coastal geology) and Dr. Joel Fodrie (coastal fisheries ecology). I examined the growth and evolution of oyster reefs on multiple time scales (years to millennia) within various habitat settings as well as their impact to adjacent saltmarsh sedimentation and erosion.