About Me

JMC_8364 (3)

I am a coral reef ecologist with a keen interest in ornithology and scientific illustration. I investigate trophic interactions in marine communities from bacteria to apex predators, and I am especially interested in taxonomic and cryptic diversity in marine systems.

Originally from James Island, South Carolina, I migrated to the mountains of Tennessee to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree at Sewanee: The University of the South. I was a double major in Ecology and Spanish, including two bouts of study abroad in Spain and the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. I then moved to Queensland, Australia to undertake a PhD in Marine Biology at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. From 2011 through 2017, I also co-instructed an annual field course in Belize (Field Study in Belize: Rainforests and Coral Reefs) through Sewanee: The University of the South.

After completing my PhD, I moved to Washington, DC as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where I utilized molecular techniques to investigate global patterns of marine biodiversity. I am now based in Perpignan, France as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow through École Pratique des Hautes Études. Currently, my main line of research is in French Polynesia, where I use fish gut content metabarcoding to analyze trophic interactions and reconstruct coral reef food webs.