I began my career at Clark University as a major in psychology, and over the course of my time here became more and more interested in the biological aspects of life and behavior. I became involved with the Foster-Baker Stickleback Laboratory quite suddenly, and started off my biology career with a trip to Alaska and a Lise Anne and Leo E. Beavers, II Endowed Fellowship. While in Alaska, I explored many different aspects of research on the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish, including field behavior observation (I am the one sitting in the water on the changing banner images on the Clark home page), water quality testing, fieldwork, crossing and rearing stickleback, and laboratory research on behavior. Since that trip, I have stayed thoroughly involved in the laboratory and plan to complete my masters here. This year I get to go to British Columbia as well as Alaska!
My interests lie in animal behavior, particularly in dominance and aggression. This year I will be studying the establishment of dominance hierarchies in juvenile stickleback during my undergraduate and laboratory research before I again go into the field. I hope to continue working with the same fish over the next year and a half to observe the ontogeny of dominance. I love the evolutionary aspect of life, looking at traits and qualities and trying to figure out how and why they evolved as they did. This curiosity manifests itself when looking at animal behavior, likely because it appeals to both my psychological and biological interests.
Outside the lab: Before I worked in the Foster-Baker lab, I was involved in an infant development lab at Clark with professor Eric Charles. We studied the impact of infants on their surroundings by use of visual cues, as well as looking at the development of object permanence through the use of darkness and obscuring toys. I spent three semesters working on infant development research and staring at babies through two-way mirrors before making the change to working with fish. Outside of the lab I can be found putting in my hours behind the front desk at Goddard Library, reshelving books and helping the patrons. Previously, I worked at the Environmental Science Program in Newton MA, leading hiking and biking trips around the city, as well as making trips the Mt Monadnock and Mt Washington.