Before coming to UW Tacoma I was a post-doctoral researcher in the Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. There I worked on nomenclature and taxonomy of invasive plant pathogens and helped to develop a database covering all published fungal species, searchable at http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/index.cfm. I did my Ph.D. research at UW Seattle in the College of Forest Resources. I studied the effects of forest harvesting on ectomycorrhizal fungi of Douglas-fir seedlings and trees, in the Cedar River and Green River, the watersheds of Seattle and Tacoma, respectively.
I am a forest mycorrhizal ecologist by training, with my current focus on inclusive excellence and broadening participation in STEM. I am the Director of the NSF S-STEM funded program, ACCESS in STEM, which supports STEM-interested students at UWT. I lead a research project examining how to most effectively support first and second year STEM-interested students; as part of this, I study the impact of faculty and peer mentoring and early course based research experiences on academic performance and persistence, self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and motivation in STEM.