Science Illustrator, Botanical Illustrator and Post-M.Sc. Research Fellow, Microbiology
At the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) I work as an interdepartmental research and scientific illustrator. In the Botany Department, I work as a Science Illustrator to create highly-detailed botanical plates of tropical plants that are completely new to science and immediately threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. In Ornithology and Mammalogy and under the Marine Mammal Stranding Network I conduct fieldwork to perform necropsies on stranded whales in the San Francisco Bay Area to uncover the cause of death and dive into the field of marine virology.
In Microbiology, I work as a Post-M.Sc. Research Fellow studying the epidemic activity and evolution of mosquito-borne viruses (e.g. dengue, zika, chikungunya viruses) during modern and historical outbreaks using cryogenically-preserved museum specimens. Using specimens collected during epidemics I study the selection pressures present during the rise and fall of viral variants and why their populations may attenuate after a single season or rapidly-evolve into a series of cyclical outbreaks.
Under all positions, I study the many threats to biodiversity and how to alleviate the effects we have on the natural world - by illustrating new species for conservation purposes, diving into the forensics of stranded marine mammals, and directly studying pathogens that affect the health and function of an individual, population, or entire ecosystem.