What do you do?
I use genomics to learn more about microbes that make people sick, as well as to discover microbes that we haven't identified previously.
Why did you choose this field?
Microbiology is an excellent field for the curious. When I tried to imagine my life after college without independent research, it felt wrong. I love that my job as a scientist is to ask questions and learn as much as I can!
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I'm not sure 19-year-old me could have imagined doing any of the following: discovering and naming new viruses, coding, speaking confidently about my research to a full auditorium
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because I am part of a larger team of scientists who are working to learn more about our world and hoping to make it a better place. I wake up looking forward to my morning run or walk, where I think about my goals for the day.
Best advice for next generation?
Sometimes the best-sounding answer or choice isn't the right one. There can be a million reasons to make one choice or another, and the noise can be deafening. Listen to yourself.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." -Marie Curie, the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize