I was raised in Oakland, California, hiking in the East Bay Regional Parks, attending zoo camp every summer at the Oakland Zoo, looking for salamanders and fossils in my backyard, and being the proud owner of fish, hamsters, desert tortoises, a cat, a dog, and, for a short time, hundreds of pet hissing cockroaches (they bred!). I continued my love of animals and nature as an undergraduate at the University of California Santa Barbara by pursuing a degree in Aquatic Biology and working at the campus aquarium. After undergraduate, I interned in the prep lab and genetics lab at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley where I discovered my interests in phylogenetics, natural history, and herpetology. Therefore, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in herpetology, studying the phylogenetics of southern Africa skinks at Villanova University.
I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in the Department of Biology at the University of Oklahoma where I study Southeast Asia amphibians and reptiles, focusing on the phylogenetics of the skink genus Lygosoma.