I am a new Ph.D. student from Minnesota advised by Boris Kondratieff. After completing my BS in Biology from North Dakota State University, I then worked for the USGS in Jamestown, ND. Later, I received a MS in Agricultural Biology from New Mexico State University. Recently I served as an entomologist in Kuwait for the Army Medical Corp. I am broadly interested in understanding habitat choice and population dynamics. My current work involves investigating spider distribution and adaptations to the development of the Great Plains. For this study, I will be focusing on life history of shrub dwelling spiders in the North American grassland ecoregions. This research is intended to contribute to the knowledge base of spider biodiversity and their ecological dynamics within grassland systems. Recreational interests include biking, travel, hiking, swimming, art and live music.