I grew up on the prairies of central Illinois, and I have always been interested in many facets of biology. After prairie and oak woodland restorations and a brief run in a cancer biology lab, I realized that natural history was my academic fit. Through a couple of years of working in the Beatty Collection at the Frost Entomological Museum, I found my true passion-Odonata! I received my BS in Biology at Loyola University Chicago as a student in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. As an undergraduate student, I also spent many hours on urban green roofs around Chicago, researching mycorrhizal fungi in the soil.
My graduate research focuses on the biodiversity of Odonata and what we can learn about this order from natural history collections’ data. In particular, I work on digitizing and georeferencing odonates for niche modeling analyses and cataloguing the Beatty Collection, an impressive collection of dragonflies and damselflies from the 1940s-1970s. One never knows the discoveries this collection holds.