I am a botanist and plant taxonomist and systematist with a particular interest in the diversity and evolution of arid plants. I am currently studying the evolution and systematics of aervoid genera in the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae), and I am an expert on the taxonomy of the Australian genus Ptilotus, commonly known by a variety of names such as mulla mulla, pussytails and foxtails.
I received a Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University (ODU; Norfolk, Virginia, USA) summa cum laude in 2012 and was recognized as the most distinguished graduate of that year in Biological Sciences. I stayed at ODU to pursue a Masters of Science degree in the lab of Dr. Timothy J. Motley (biography). My thesis focused on reconstructing the 1st molecular phylogeny of the Australian plant genus Ptilotus (Amaranthaceae) using nuclear and chloroplast markers.
After earning my master’s degree in 2014, I went on to continue my research on Ptilotus in Australia, where I was an inaugural recipient of a prestigious Forrest Research Foundation scholarship to pursue a PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2015. I am currently working on my PhD with an intended completion date of mid-2019. Supervising me at UWA are Dr. Kevin Thiele, Prof. Laco Mucina, Assoc/Prof. Megan Ryan and Prof. Ian Small.