I’m a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at UCLA, science blogger, and sometimes sci-fi writer and audio/visual glitch artist. My research interests focus on how experiences create biological changes to make us who we are. I’m currently working in Stephanie White’s lab, where I used bioinformatics to create a novel working model for the epigenetic regulation that underlies learned vocal communication and from this model successfully identified a new drug to treat communication deficits.
Before grad school I started out as an anthropology student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I had the privilege of doing NSF-funded fieldwork on the remote Fijian island of Nayau. Anthropology piqued my interest in evolutionary neuroscience and evolutionary medicine, which fostered an interest in metabolic and cognitive epigenetics. I joined David Sweatt’s lab and worked on how experiences trigger histone variant exchange and changes in DNA methylation to give rise to learned behavior. My current work builds on this experience by applying my knowledge of behavioral epigenetics to learned vocal communication.
When I’m not in lab I enjoy writing fiction, making art, gardening, electronic music, Burning Man and other festivals, practicing yoga, distance running, and traveling whenever I can. I live in Los Angeles with my boyfriend Alex, our cat, our tarantula, and two beta fish.
My LinkedIn can be found here.