I am a third year graduate student in the Department of Biology and Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program at Duke. As an undergraduate I studied biology and marine science at the University of Miami and worked in the Browne Lab researching the evolution and development of ctenophores. As a graduate student I am most interested in the genetic, developmental, and ecological drivers of organismal diversity, especially the consequences of changes in gene regulation on organismal adaptation and development.
In the lab, I take comparative developmental and genomic approaches to studying the evolution a major life history switch in the sea urchin genus Heliocidaris from indirect, planktotrophic (feeding) to direct, lecithotrophic (non-feeding) larval development.
My primary projects include:
- Cis-regulatory evolution associated with direct larval development and altered embryonic cell fate specification in H. erythrogramma.
- Metabolic modifications driving developmental life history evolution in sea urchins using lipidomic and proteomic mass spectrometry.
- Affect of global climate change and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate development.
I am also collaborating on other research projects including:
- Developmental transcriptomics of the direct developing sea star Parvulastra exigua.
- Comparative genomics of H. erythrogramma, H. tuberculata, and Lytechinus variegatus, another indirect developing planktotrohpic sea urchin species.
- Comparative single cell RNA-sequencing during embryogenesis in H. erythrogramma and L. variegatus.