What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your research

I am a postdoctoral scholar with Dr. Jason Stajich in the Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology at the University of California, Riverside. With Dr. Stajich, I am currently working on a variety of genomic, metagenomic and phylogenomic projects at the interface of both host (insect, amphibian, seaweed and seagrass) and microbe (bacteria, fungi) interactions. I did my doctoral research with Dr. Jonathan Eisen at the University of California, Davis, where I investigated the taxonomic diversity of seagrass-associated bacteria and fungi. My current research interests range from sea to summit and encompass questions related to host-microbiome interactions, host-microbiome coevolution and marine fungi.

What are you excited about in science communication?

I think communicating science within disciplines, across disciplines and to the public is incredibly exciting as it often leads to new perspectives and thus, facilitates new discoveries.  Creativity is truly critical to science and requires diverse voices – science communication can help by encouraging the pursuit of science by diverse voices as well as supporting collaboration across and within fields.

“We like to think of exploring in science as a lonely, meditative business, and so it is in the first stages, but always, sooner or later, before the enterprise reaches completion, as we explore, we call to each other, communicate, publish, send letters to the editor, present papers, cry out on finding.” – Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell

Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellow program?

I am passionate about science communication, open-access and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data practices. I believe that pre-prints facilitate all three of these and thus, the ASAPbio Fellow program seemed like the perfect way to help disseminate knowledge about the benefits of pre-prints and open-access to the scientific community.

Ask me about…

Marine fungi – because yes, they exist and they are incredibly important for our oceans. Also cats, not marine cats, just the normal adorable terrestrial fur ball kind.

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