About

tl;dr: My CV

Now

I am currently a postdoc in Andrew Eckert‘s lab at Virginia Commonwealth University. We are working on all things ecological genomics, but I’m funded specfically by NSF as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on uncovering the genetic architecture of fire-adapted bark thickness in south-eastern USA Pinus species. You can read more about this grant on the Funding page.

Then

I graduated from Maria Rivera‘s lab in May 2013 with a Ph.D. in Integrative Life Sciences. My dissertation was focused on uncovering relationships between bacterial communities and their environment using a new technique we are calling Phylometagenomics coupled with other best-of-breed methods in the field. We published one of the chapters of my dissertation, and there is more to come, including a fully-flushed out treatment of the Bayesian analysis routine used in this paper. We were also involved in the Euglenozoa arm of the Assembling the Tree of Life project funded by NSF, but lack of adequate data and project management (to no fault of our own) has hampered our ability to elucidate any relationships among these organisms.

Back then

From 2007 to 2008, I was a Master’s student in the VCU Bioinformatics program. My advisor was Paul Fawcett, and we worked on some cool microarray analysis software, SLEDRIDE, for my project. We were scooped, but it was an excellent learning experience. I graduated in August 2008 with a Professional Science Masters (M.Bin.) degree.

Way back then

I graduated from Gettysburg College in 1999, after spending most of my senior year as a graduate/Optometry student at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry as part of a 3-4 program. I quickly realized that Optometry was not the direction in which I wanted to take my life, despite years of planning and undergraduate acceleratory hammering. I was able to secure an entry-level Information Technology job with Bentley Systems in 1999, and worked there until 2001. I was promoted twice in that time, from Systems Analyst to Senior Systems Analyst to Systems Administrator. I loved working there, but cha nges in my personal life brought me to Richmond, VA in the winter of 2002. After completing MCSA and MCSE certificaitons, I worked in various senior, IT roles (e.g., the now defunct Circuit City, Infineon, and VCU Health System) for the next five years until 2007. After working for these and other companies, as both salaried employee and consultant, I came to the realization that I could do more with my life and contribute back to society in other ways. I quit IT, had a retirement party, and continued down the path of academia.

For more details, you can check out my CV.