Research

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow working at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History working on palaeoproteomics. I received my PhD in biology and astrobiology from Penn State University working on ancient DNA and have held Marie Curie and Newton Fellowships at the University of York working on palaeoproteomics. I am firmly invested in interdisciplinary work and regularly work with people in geoscience, astrobiology, biology, chemistry, and archaeology.

I am interested in preservation of biomolecules in the archaeological record, use of aquatic resources by historic and prehistoric populations, and the use of the archeological record to inform current animal protection and conservation management strategies.

My current project, Molecular Ancient Fish Remains Identification (MAFRI) aims to use collagen sequences to improve fish bone identification in the archaeological record to reconstruct diet and fishing methods.  I am also part of a broader team working on ancient fish remains across the globe creating a method to reconstruct the dynamics of ancient and historic fish populations to inform current conservation and management practices of commercially important fishing stocks.

Teaching

Science knowledge has become necessary from everything from making informed personal health choices to understanding our technology; from energy production to feeding the world's population; from exploring the depths of our oceans to traversing the expanse of space. Understanding how to integrate the increasing amount of science knowledge into daily living necessitates an understanding of science itself.  Therefore, in addition to my research, I am invested in science education, both in traditional classrooms and non-classroom environments.

I have taught lectures, labs, and seminars on the college level in a wide range of topics including archaeology, biology, pedagogy, and presentation skills at the University of York, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Bradford, and the University of Pennsylvania.  I have redeveloped lab courses, designed course material, coordinated teaching assistants for large classes, and conducted teaching observations.

In addition, I am invested in observing other educators from a wide range of philosophies and backgrounds and participating in research-based discussions on teaching practice in order to improve my teaching skills.