Department of Biology and Wildlife University of Alaska Fairbanks
I am currently focusing on elucidating the affects permafrost thaw has on the abundance and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes in active layer soils across a permafrost thaw gradient. This research will create a baseline for how shifts in boreal bacterial communities affect the representation of antibiotic resistance genes therefore breeding future research into the risk these genes have in spilling over into human pathogens. This research and general topic has been presented at outreach events and several conferences. I conducted multiple microbiology outreach programs to local elementary schools where students learned about the role of microbes in our world and participated in a “hands-on” exercise where they each cultured bacteria from their hands and an object in the classroom to demonstrate microbes live on and around us. I plan to continue educating the public, especially youth, as I develop as a scientist and educator throughout my graduate career.