The short version is that I’m a antidisciplinary scientist. The medium-length version is that I’m a quantitatively minded person who uses theoretical physics and computational analysis to design biochemical experiments that address questions in environmental science and ecology. The slightly longer version is that I’m an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Stanford sitting in the lab of Jonas Cremer where I use principles of bacterial physiology to make predictive models of evolution. I firmly believe that the future of biology relies on an intuition for the physics that governs it, especially in evolutionary biology.
Being the progeny of two paleontologists, I grew up in rural Utah where I was raised in a concoction of contradictions. While my weekends were spent with my parents helping dig up dinosaur bones and grappling with geology of my surroundings, my weekdays were spent in the rural public education system where I was taught evolution was a lie, humans can’t impact the Earth, and that dinosaur bones were buried by either the devil or the government (or maybe both). Contending with these diametrically opposed views of science and experiencing its influence on public discourse has strongly influenced the way I want to understand the world; through the cold, unforgiving, and objective lens of math.
After studying biology and chemistry at the University of Utah, I earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics under the tutelage of Rob Phillips at the California Institute of Technology. Through studying how bacterial cells control the action of their own genes, I learned how to approach biological problems from a physical and probabilistic perspective. I have carried this manner of scientific study with me where I bring it to bear on the complex phenomena that emerge at the intersection of bacterial physiology, ecology, and evolution.
Beyond quantitative science, I am an amateur web developer and help build and maintain a number of scientific resources, such as the Human Impacts Database. Beyond science, I love taking photographs, making programmatically generated art, vector based illustration (like those on my research page), and exploring the wild lands of California. I also watch my fair share of films and television about which I have hard-headed opinions, such as an affinity for Alejandro Jodorowsky and Julia Ducournau and a disdain for Star Wars and Marvel.