Welcome to my page! I am a conservation scientist pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. I am also a member of the Center for Biodiversity and Sustainability under the advisement of Tom Lovejoy and collaborate with the Social Science Initiative in the Moore Center for Science at Conservation International; such collaborations ensure that my research has a tangible impact. As President of Mason’s Environmental Science and Policy Graduate Student Association (ESP-GSA), I take pride in fostering a sense of community in ESP, voicing concerns of graduate students to faculty and administration, and connecting students with resources and opportunities.
My research focuses on the effectiveness of area-based conservation interventions, especially protected areas. Currently, I am documenting legal changes that temper, shrink, or eliminate protected areas (protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement or PADDD) in Peru and Ecuador and evaluating the risks of these changes and their impacts for forests and biodiversity. To document PADDD across the rest of Amazonia, I am collaborating with an Amazonia-wide network of researchers; we are assessing the patterns, trends, and causes of PADDD and building capacity for evidence-based environmental policy.
For my master’s work in the Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology (CONS) program at the University of Maryland (in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund), I studied PADDD in the United States and analyzed the impacts of boundary changes to Yosemite National Park on habitat fragmentation. I have also contributed to science that directly informs evidence-based policy as a Science Fellow at Oceana with the Stop Seafood Fraud campaign. I reviewed and mapped the evidence of seafood fraud and mislabeling worldwide, as well as conducted original research identifying mislabeling in “Gulf” shrimp and “wild” salmon. This research provided evidence to support executive action by President Obama to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud. Recently, I have spoken out against the Trump administration’s reductions to National Monuments and advocated for the importance of women in science.
I am interested in effective science communication, evidence-based environmental policy, mainstreaming impact evaluation in conservation science, and STEMinism.