Focus on the Future is a series that seeks to highlight the early career scientists who conduct research at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Learn about undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral fellows and the conservation research they are supporting through first-hand accounts and stories.
Featured photos provided by Kimberly Todd.
George Mason University MSc Student
Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Fellow
I have always had an interest in nature and wildlife. I’m from the Charlotte, North Carolina area originally, and worked a lot with animals growing up, including horses. I was very fortunate because my family would travel every summer around the United States, going to national and state parks which further cemented my interest in wilderness areas.
I studied biology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a concentration in ecology, evolution and environmental biology. Faculty members at App State helped introduce me to scientists at the Smithsonian and I eventually got referred to my current advisors, Nucharin Songsasen, Ph.D., and Hila Shamon, Ph.D. They were the ones who got me involved with the internship program in the Great Plains region.