What is your research about?
My research centers around understanding how different types of environmental inputs have intergenerational effects in a process known as epigenetic inheritance. I am currently working on a phenomenon where the social environment that an animal is in dictates gene silencing mechanisms in their progeny.
What has been your personal motivation to continue research in academia after completing your PhD?
In graduate school, I became interested in alternative modes of inheritance. The idea that the environment of previous generations has the potential to affect current and subsequent generations really peaked my interest as a topic of study. In pursuing a postdoc, I could work on these questions and continue to pursue a career that I find fulfilling.
What do you appreciate about working in research?
In research, we are at the forefront of knowledge; what we are doing may end up in the very textbooks we once studied. I like the idea of this “full-circle” moment. Also, I really appreciate the freedom to pursue our innate curiosities and the flexibility allowed in research to work in a way that is optimal to you.
February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Do you think it is important that we celebrate this day?
It is definitely important that we celebrate this day as it highlights a group of people that have been an integral part of research without getting their due recognition. This day will allow current and future generations of women to not be marginalized and feel that science is a place that they belong.
Do you have a role model and how has this person influenced your career decisions?
I would say that my role model(s) would be my family. They instilled in me the idea that every generation should improve upon the last; a message I have taken to heart. If I had to choose a scientist, the stories of two people have been truly inspiring: Marie Maynard Daly and Mario Capecchi.