I am a marine microbial ecologist that uses a combination of laboratory and field measurements to understand how phytoplankton in the ocean function in present and predicted future oceans. Phytoplankton are single-celled algae that live in the surface ocean and take up carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen via photosynthesis. My research team specifically focuses on diatoms, a group of phytoplankton that build shells out of silicon, generate about 1/4 of the oxygen we breathe and are very important in the Southern Ocean ecosystem.
My love of science started as a grade school student in Elmhurst, IL. I am the product of good public schools for my entire K-12 education. I was a biochemistry major at Mount Holyoke College in MA for my undergraduate degree. Following this, I was a high school science teacher for two years at Pomfret School, an independent boarding School in CT. I went on to earn my PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oregon and conducted postdoctoral research at UC Santa Cruz. I have been in my current position as a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island for 10 years.