Graduate Student Bios
AB Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University 2012
I am interested in the intersection of evolution and behavior, examined through an interdisciplinary lens. In the Feder lab, I am studying the genetic and neurophysiological underpinnings of odor preference in the apple and hawthorn races of Rhagoletis pomonella. The preference that these flies show for their own fruit volatile blend, and against the opposing one, constitutes an important reproductive barrier and has thus acted as a “pacemaker” for evolutionary divergence. But how is that interplay between behavior and evolution reflected in the genome and neuronal network of these fly populations?
In the past few years I have become skilled, both at grinding flies up for DNA extractions and painstakingly dissecting them for live imaging of their brain activity. The duality, the variety, is something I relish about my work. My Ph.D. research has also required a surprising amount of travel – in 2013 I was at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany for several months to work with Dr. Shannon Olsson, and in 2015 I was at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India, again to work with Shannon, this time for 8 months; both times I was working on the neurobiological parts of my research. But I have always enjoyed traveling. I also have a bit of a soft spot for sci-fi novels (the more unrealistic the better). Oh, and cows.
BS Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee 2012
MS Biology, Northeastern University 2011
BS Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame 2005
MS Biology, Brigham Young University 2013
BS Biology, Brigham Young University 2011
MS Biology, University of California San Diego 2011
BS General Biology, University of California San Diego 2009