I am a biologist interested in the evolution and mechanistic basis of plasticity, and what these processes can tell us about human health. My research uses evolutionary frameworks and genomic tools to address two major questions: (i) what are the molecular mechanisms that connect environmental challenges (e.g., social or nutritional stress) experienced across the life course with compromised health? and (ii) why do health outcomes vary among individuals exposed to the same environmental challenge? To do so, I collect individual-based environmental, genomic, and biomedical data in subsistence-level, small-scale human populations. My current work focuses on the Turkana people of northern Kenya and is conducted as part of the Turkana Health and Genomics Project. I also work with the Orang Asli Health and Lifeways Project.
I received my BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California: Los Angeles and my PhD in Ecology from Duke University. My PhD was co-advised by Susan Alberts and Jenny Tung. Currently, I am a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, where I work with Julien Ayroles and Josh Akey.
I am excited to start as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2021. I will soon retire this website and transition to my Vanderbilt lab website.
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