I spent my childhood in a permanently salty state – from exploring tide pools to sailing competitively throughout college, the ocean defined me. This love for the sea also led me to pursue a degree in marine biology at Brown University, and when I graduated and got a job offer to work as a biologist at U.S. Geological Survey in Florida, I eagerly accepted. Two days later, with visions of sandy beaches and palm trees in my mind, I arrived 1,244 miles south… and 74 miles inland. I studied the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dinosaur-like sturgeon fish in the Suwannee River - it was the sweltering summer field days of netting sturgeon in the foreign fresh waters of north Florida that first acquainted me with Florida's freshwater springs. These incredible ecosystems immediately swept me off my feet, and I started exploring, researching, and documenting them through photography, leading me to work with the H.T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, the Spring Eternal Project, and other local conservation groups. To see a little deeper, I earned my cave diving certification in 2013 and became endlessly fascinated by the winding tunnels of the aquifer. But with this fascination came concern for these threatened ecosystems. This ultimately led me to pursue my PhD at the University of Florida where I am now in my 4th year, working on a dissertation that blends science, photography, and environmental education to explore how we can most effectively communicate about Florida’s unique freshwater resources. I am a National Geographic Young Explorer and am currently working on an immersive environmental education program called "Walking on Water" that teaches the next generation about our freshwater through underwater photography and creative writing. At the start of the project in summer 2016, I shot and developed the first 360 virtual tour in the Floridan Aquifer, and throughout spring 2017, I will have 300+ 5th graders underwater taking photos themselves.
National Geographic Young Explorer
National GeographicExplorer Classroom presentation (Jan 2017)
Speaker (October 2015):Illusions: a lens into our fragile freshwater
The Nature Conservancy
Photo Contest, Overall Runner-up forphoto titled "Dancing at the Edge"(2016)
Shortlist, Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition(June 2016) - Photo titled "Hope" on display at the Royal Geographical Society in London (29 June – 21 August)
Named one of theTop 10 Female Nature Photographers to WatchbyWild Planet Photo Magazine(2016)
Freshwater ScienceCover, March 2017, Vol 36, Issue 1
*For a more complete list of awards, publications, and presentations, see this page.