Credentials: PhD Student - Sharma Lab
Two ontogenetic processes that I focus on are antero-posterior segmentation and appendage development in spiders. I use a combination of bioinformatic tools, sequencing approaches, and gene silencing experiments to investigate how conserved transcription factors establish regional identity, with the mainstay of my work in the model system Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Other projects I work on incorporate investigation of appendage evolution in insects and sea spiders.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in iBio?
My undergraduate research experience in the iBio department led me to change my intended post-graduation plans from medical school to pursuing my PhD. After interviewing with other programs and institutions, I realized iBio was the best home for me and the types of projects I wanted to run.
Why or what do you love about the program?
It is not too large and I do not ever feel like “just another graduate student.” The faculty are all kind and supportive as well as knowledgeable; I feel I can approach anyone I know for advice.
Future Plans: Post-doctoral position (ultimate goal is a tenure-track position at a research university)
Fun Fact: I have been riding horses for 22 years (as of January 2022), and when I am not in the lab I am most likely at home with my mare / in the saddle.
BS in Biology and BS in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison