I began my professional career as a biological anthropologist studying primate behavior and comparative ecology. This path allowed me to live and work in some of the most biodiverse and threatened regions in the world, and fostered a profound and personal interest to become involved in applied research initiatives that contribute to sustainable management and environmental policy in a meaningful way. The transition to working on climate change impacts to biodiversity in the Chicago Wilderness region was a natural progression that grew from my graduate work on human-wildlife interactions. A main goal of my current work is to help build and renew positive relationships between people and the environment as sustainable partnerships that communities are empowered to create and continue.
2004-2008 Ph.D. Stony Brook University, New York, Biological Anthropology, Ecology
2000-2004 M.S. Stony Brook University, New York, Biological Anthropology
1995-1999 B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Anthropology, Environmental Studies
Professional: Past and present climate change; Historical and current interactions between humans and the environment; Climate change impacts to biodiversity; Landscape and ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation; Comparative ecology; Climate science education.
Personal: Being outdoors in any capacity (hiking, biking, kayaking, camping); Gardening and native landscaping; Supporting the local live music scene; Creative cooking; Travel, travel, travel.
My research focuses on examining climate change impacts to biodiversity in the Chicago Wilderness region. The application of this work includes 1) developing adaptation strategies for natural communities through collaborations with scientists, natural resource managers, and community leaders, 2) creating effective methods of communicating climate science to diverse audiences and 3) promoting the role that natural habitats play in responding to climate change. My background of research, teaching, and training in the fields of anthropology, ecology and evolution, and climate science enables me to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of climate change impacts to both natural and human communities, as well as communicate this information across a broad range of audiences.
Conservation Ecologist, Department of Environment, Culture and Conservation, The Field Museum, March 2010-present
Contractor, Department of Environment, Culture and Conservation, The Field Museum, August 2009-February 2010
Member of the Chicago Wilderness Task Forces: Climate Change, Green Infrastructure Vision and Natural Resource Management, August 2009-present
Editor of Chicago Wilderness Climate Change Newsletter, May 2010-present
Field Course Instructor, Primate Behavioral Ecology and Conservation, Ometepe Biological Station, Nicaragua, May-June 2009
Undergrad Research Adviser, Student Summer Research Program, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL, May-August 2009
Adjunct Professor, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL Biological Science Department,January 2008-December 2009
Adjunct Professor, St. Francis University, Joliet, IL Biology Department, January-May 2009
Adjunct Professor, Kendall College, Environmental Sciences, Chicago, IL, August 2008-October 2009
Adjunct Professor, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL June-August 2006
Project leader and student advisor: School for International Training Ecuador, Comparative Ecology and Conservation course, May-December 2005
Committee Member: Scientists Concerned for Yasuní National Park, Ecuador, 2005-present