I attended the Marine Academy of Science and Technology vocational high school in Sandy Hook, NJ with the hopes of one day becoming a marine biologist. I learned the basics of conducting a research project, as well as some marine fieldwork skills. From MAST I went to The Richard Stockton College of NJ (recently changed to Stockton University), where I majored in Biology after realizing that I wanted to know more about life than that of the aquatic environments.
Dr. Guy Barbato was my research advisor at Stockton, and I collaborated with a team of student researchers on multiple different projects. I also worked as a Bradford E. Brown intern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a summer. This incredible experience paired with those I had in Dr. Barbato's lab group cemented my dream of becoming a research scientist.
And so, I applied to grad school. After growing to love Biology as a more general science, I wanted to find an advisor who shared my interests in multidisciplinary research. Dr. George (PJ) Perry fit the bill perfectly, and his lab group (my fellow grad students, our incredible post-docs, and our awesome undergrads) have become a second, slightly nerdy, family :)
My present and future
I received a Short-Term Fellowship from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to travel to Panama and collect samples of marine snail tissue and shells. I hope to determine if high quality DNA can be extracted and sequenced from shells of varying ages. Collaborators: Aaron O'Dea and Thomas Wake.