My undergraduate training in marine biology was done at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and then I spent two years working at the Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California. I recently finished my PhD in the Lowe Lab at Stanford University and primarily based at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, CA.In my thesis research, I studied how one genome can build two different bodies.To answer this, I studied a species of hemichordate, part of a group of marine worms closely related to chordates that has distinct larval and adult life history stages.
In my work I am broadly interested in lesser-known and underrepresented groups of animals, such as marine invertebrates, which can provide novel perspectives to advance fundamental cell biology research. Because most of what we know about comes from the study of a small group of model organisms, the broader diversity of marine animals offers unique and untapped opportunities for studying these processes in alternative and arguably simpler configurations. Research on these species promises novel insights into the flexibility and constraints of fundamental cellular mechanisms. Along with comparing cellular complexity and heterogeneity across different animals, I also plan to use the comparative framework of metazoan diversity to compare and contrast processes of development and regeneration. What I enjoy about my work is that it encourages me to think comparatively but also appreciate diversity as one of the major gifts in our understanding of science.