I graduated from Boston College in 2008 with a B.S. in biology and the University of Texas at Tyler in 2014 with a M.S. in biology. Since 2012 I’ve worked in plant genetics in Dr. Josh Banta’s lab at UTT and Dr. Zach Lippman’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor. I came to FIU in 2018 to begin my Ph.D. in Dr. DeGennaro’s lab where we’re working to understand the genetic basis of cnidarian-algal symbiosis.
We are working to develop reverse-genetic tools to understand the genetic basis of coral-algal interactions in the anemone Aiptasia pallida, the jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana and the symbiotic algae Breviolum minutum. B. minutum in particular has historically been resistant to genome-editing efforts—possibly due to its unique chromosomal architecture—and the nature of this resistance is interesting from a basic science perspective. Once we achieve the ability to edit the genome of any of these organisms, we hope to test various standing hypotheses about how these symbiotic partners regulate each other.