I am a PhD candidate in the McCauley Lab at UC Santa Barbara and a research fellow in the O’Dea Lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Trained first as a community ecologist, I now think more about ecology through time. In particular, I am interested in how we can harness information about past ecosystems and their patterns and mechanisms of change over time to better understand modern ecosystem functioning and manage their current and future threats. My PhD research focuses on developing and applying a new paleoecological tool for tracking changes in shark assemblages over long stretches of ecological time. I use dermal denticle assemblages preserved in modern and fossil coral reef sediments to reconstruct changes in the abundance and composition of reef shark assemblages over the last several thousand years and explore how these shifts in predator communities might have influenced reef trophic structure. More broadly, my research interests lie in paleoecology, community ecology, food webs, and conservation biology. I am also very interested in science communication, and I use blog posts, social media, and art as platforms for sharing my work with diverse audiences.

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