Throughout my scientific career, I have sought ways to study how behaviors important to the life history of an animal are adapted by experience. As a master’s student with Dr. Peter Slater at the University of St. Andrews, I conducted fieldwork to quantitatively study the similarity of songs in a population of chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) inhabiting a small chain of islands. This research examined the interactions of geographic isolation upon song learning, and found that the acoustic structure of songs was learned on birth islands, while song sequencing was determined by the location of adult territories. My master’s work motivated a more mechanistic approach for my doctoral thesis with Dr. Michael Brainard at the University of California, San Francisco. I examined the relationship between motor neuron variability and variability in song structure. As a postdoc with Dr. Cynthia Moss at Johns Hopkins University (and formerly at the University of Maryland), I extended my work on sensorimotor processing by examining the role of sensory feedback in audio-vocal integration in the echolocating bat. I conducted both behavioral and neurophysiological studies in bats performing natural tasks to determine how sensory feedback in the form of sonar echoes is used to modify subsequent sonar vocalizations, as well as head and ear movements.
I have over twenty-seven years of laboratory managerial experience working in different animal models using a variety of different techniques. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. After teaching mathematics and science to 7th-12th grades for 9 years, I began working in research at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale. Later, I established transgenic cores for George Washington University, D.C. and Children’s National Medical Center, D.C. before joining the University of Arizona. I particularly enjoy all hands-on work with animals. I also love teaching all ages about biomedical research and hope my enthusiasm is catching!
I am a graduate student in the GIDP Neuroscience program. I completed my Masters in Medical Physiology from Manipal University, India following which I worked with Dr. Supratim Ray at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India studying the brain rhythms underlying high-level cognitive tasks such as attention in non-human primates. I then moved to Washington, DC and worked with Dr. David Leopold at the National Institute of Mental Health studying social interactions in non-human primates in naturalistic paradigms. In the bat lab I am interested in studying behavior and understanding the circuit mechanisms that drive behavior during natural tasks. In addition to research, I am also interested in science communication, policy and advocacy.
I am a junior at the University of Arizona studying Neurobiology with minors in Computer Science and Biochemistry. With career aspirations to become a surgeon, I am interested in all aspects of human physiology, but particularly the brain and nervous system. Aside from the Arizona Batlab, I am also involved in the University of Arizona community as a member of Mortar Board senior honor society, a Co-President of the Honors College Ambassadors, and a Resident Assistant.
Sign up to hear from us about specials, sales, and events.