I am working toward my PhD in the Plant Biology Program at UT Austin. In collaboration with the Jha Lab, I am investigating the effects of deforestation and climate change on tropical forests. I am particularly interested in the way plants and animals interact and how these interactions might change as tropical forests change due to human activity.
Fikatha Media is a collaborative community that aims to help people tell their stories when they don't have the means to do so themselves. This documentary was screened at the 2018 Rainforest Partnership’s SXSW Films for the Forest Event. Find the full-length doc here.
The University of Texas at Austin's Biodiversity Collections, specifically the Entomological Collections, team are collaborating with researchers from UT's Brackenridge Field Laboratory, University of Georgia, and more to produce a series of SciComm videos that aim to expose people to the decades of research that have gone into what we know about our spicy little neighbors: the Red Imported Fire Ant. Our videos will focus on the people and processes behind the research and will let the public in on the good, the bad, and the unresolved parts of the work that we do as biologists.
Video produced by Megan O'Connell, Alejandro Santillana and Olivia Schmidt, in conjunction with the letter "Border wall will be bad for biodiversity" published in Frontiers of Ecology and Evolution.
The Scientist in Residence program at UT Austin puts graduate researchers in public school classrooms to expose students to cutting-edge research, while teaching scientists how to become better communicators. For the 2016-2017 school year, I collaborated with Mr. Hance at Laurel Mountain Elementary to create innovative outdoor lessons and learning spaces for his 5th grade science class. For the 2017-2018 school year, I produced these media products to help promote SciRes to the UT Austin Community.
Public perceptions of scientists are often one-dimensional and ignore the humans behind the science. I am producing an ongoing photo/video series that aims to present more diverse and humanistic images of scientists around the world.
A rotating cast of friendly science visuals #scigifs
Voices of the April 23 Science March in Austin, TX.
The Austin bike community is young, scrappy, and growing. As traffic congestion in the city worsens, more Austinites are taking to the streets on two wheels. With the recent passage of the Prop. 1 Mobility Bond, infrastructure changes stand to make a difference on the daily lives of drivers and cyclists alike. I followed local bike enthusiasts around town to document the city's bike subcultures, discuss cyclist-driver relations, and collect opinions about the future of bike infrastructure in ATX.