I was born in a small town in Northern California. After graduating high school and getting accepted at University of Colorado at Boulder, I deferred for a year of international experiences before starting college. I lived in Argentina for 3 months studying Spanish (and learning Salsa, eating lots of empanadas, and trying to keep up with the eat-dinner-at-11-go-out-until-4am lifestyle) then lived in South Africa for 2 months where I volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary for a month then worked at a school for township children in Cape Town. At CU Boulder, I studied psychology and worked at the labs of Dr. Eliana Colunga and Dr. Yuko Munakata. Before jumping straight into graduate work after graduation from CU, I decided another international break was necessary and headed to Thailand to work as a preschool English teacher in Pattaya for one year. I came back to Northern California to apply to graduate school and eventually chose the experimental psychology program at UCSD.
I study infant-caregiver interaction from a cultural perspective. The training in the rigorous and controlled methods of experimental psychology have been extremely beneficial, though I prefer to use a variety of methodologies and perspectives in my work and I have been very fortunate to have received mentorship from many faculty members outside of the psychology department. I am also a specialization student in the Anthropogeny program, which is an interdisciplinary group that explores questions related to human origins. I do research in San Diego and internationally, in Vanuatu, Bolivia, and Guatemala. I am most interested in the implications of my research for education, interventions, and advocacy and hope my work will make a difference in maternal-infant health issues around the world.
Outside of graduate work (in those few rare and precious moments of spare time), I devote my energy to the Surfrider Foundation, where I am the founder and co-leader of the STOP Coastal Climate Change program. We work to educate San Diego’s beach-going community on the threats of climate change and the everyday life changes we can all make to combat these threats. I also love photography and bringing the culture and beauty of international communities to others. Any other spare time is spent riding bikes by the beach, camping, or planning the next outdoor adventure with my amazing life partner Adam Junod!