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My research interests are highly applied, and my research is focused on isolating novel, environmentally friendly insecticides from the venom of native Australian spiders. In 2007 I earned my MSc in Entomology from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa in Honolulu, and have recently submitted my PhD from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. My PhD research has recently been patented and has received competitive funding to continue the project through the early stages of commercialization from the Australian Research Council.
Although currently a bench scientist, I find myself interested in positions beyond the laboratory that will allow me to return to my roots in agricultural science and biosecurity, and to gain experience in policy implementation. I am an experienced science communicator who has been featured in online and print media in Australia and internationally.
While at The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) as a PhD student, I helped found and grow the IMB Science Ambassador program. This program is designed to give early career researchers experience in speaking with the media, with the public, and with funders about their research. As a scientist with highly applied and commercially viable research interests, I helped design a program that teaches scientists how to talk about their work in a way that is relevant to their audience and clearly communicates the goal of their research to non-scientists. In my work with the Queensland Government as one of their Talking Scientists, I visited regional and rural Queensland communities from Mitchell to Cairns, and addressed the Members of Parliament as an invited speaker at the 2009 Science in Parliament event.
My tandem experiences at the land grant University of Hawai`i, in an agriculture-based department, and the highly molecular research at the IMB allows me to have a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and advantages of particular technologies and government policies. In my various collaborations with industry, growers, and academics I have developed the ability to cultivate productive working relationships. I am a proactive, results-oriented, dedicated scientist with extensive experience communicating science and government policies. I have the ability to rapidly synthesize information and effectively translate current research, and the skills to make research relevant to stakeholders.
An American by birth, I grew up in Boston and now live in Australia in sunny Queensland. More information about my research and publications is available online.