Graduate Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
You'll never know unless you try.
What do you do?
As a graduate student, I take classes, do research, and teach undergraduates in laboratory courses. My research focuses on the cost of symbiosis. I work with microscopic critters found in pond water.
Why did you choose this field?
My parents are scientists, so I grew up in an environment that really fostered a curiosity about the world. As for pond water specifically, I distinctly remember looking a sample of water from a nearby ditch under a microscope when I was in 6th grade. It was a whole new world full of alien creatures!
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I was able to do a 10 week field internship in Guam in college. It was amazing, not only culturally but scientifically. I was working with the Ecology of Bird Loss project, investigating how the loss of birds due to the invasion of the brown tree snake affected the ecosystem. It was a wonderful opportunity that I'd never dreamed of! It gave me my first real field experience and really shaped my path as a scientist.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love just trying to unravel and understand how the world works. It's like solving a giant puzzle. I also really enjoy sharing science with others. I love getting children excited about science.
Best advice for next generation?
Just keep trying and go big! You'll never know unless you try.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
One of my big roles models in Albert Eisenstein. He had dyslexia, just like me, and he was one of the greatest scientist. If he can do it, why not me?