Biography: I was born and raised in Western New York, where I became obsessed with the natural world at an early age. My focus on birds in particular led me to pursue an undergraduate career at Cornell University, where I started my research career at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. I learned the fundamentals of avian field work in the Winkler Lab and of molecular lab techniques in the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program. After graduation, I spent four years working as a research assistant, field technician, and crew leader on a diversity of avian research projects in Florida, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mississippi, Arizona, and Hawaii, all the while returning to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the off-season to continue my lab work in molecular phylogeography. In 2012 I joined the new Cheviron Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Ph.D. student studying the molecular basis and evolutionary history of color patterns in birds. In addition to my academic work, I spend much of my free time recreationally birding, herping, and traveling while contributing to eBird, iNaturalist, and other citizen science projects.
My eBird profile: https://ebird.org/ebird/profile/MzQxOTc/world
My iNaturalist profile: http://www.inaturalist.org/people/pagophila