I grew up in Virginia Beach, where I spent my childhood combing the beach for sea shells, chasing fiddler crabs in the salt marsh, and learning all I could about science. As a teenager, I deepened my understanding of ocean and coastal ecosystems and developed a passion for science education as a volunteer docent at the Virginia Aquarium.
I collected my first fossil as an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary after I found my way to geology. I was initially excited about the potential to use deep time to better understand the impact of climate change, but was sucked in by how freakin' cool paleontology is! This excitement led me to pursue a Master's at the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. at Penn State.