I grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley and as a result, love both urban environments and the great outdoors. I transitioned to the field of ecology later in my career, after focusing on the humanities during my undergraduate studies and working for several years in the field of international telecommunications. Once I decided to pursue ecology, I started going to school at night and eventually earned my master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. While there, I conducted ecological research on breeding bird assemblages in an urban salt marsh and sociological research on social capital in relation to payments for ecosystem services programs.
Currently, my research in the Zuckerberg lab focuses on the subnivium, which is the thermally stable refuge that exists at the interface between the snowpack and the ground. Because of its stable temperatures, the microclimate of the subnivium provides a safe haven for a diverse array of plants and animals during the harsh winter season but is increasingly threatened due to climate change. Through active warming experiments using micro-greenhouses deployed across three latitudinal bands and cover types, I am investigating the key drivers that structure and maintain the subnivium in order to predict how its extent, duration, and temperature dynamics will change as a result of climate change.