I am arriving this Fall from the opposite side of the mountain in Salt Lake City, where I received my BS in biology. Much of my background is in genetics, and I have worked as a lab technician since 2006 in various labs here in Utah. In my final years at the University of Utah, my fascinations with biology became focused on plant community and evolutionary ecology, with particular interest in the adaptations of invasive annual species to new habitats and to our changing climate. I am excited by the thought of applying what I have learned in genetics to these fields. I am very fortunate to be joining Melinda Smith's lab as a doctoral student where we will be exploring the roles of biotic vs. abiotic features of grassland ecosystem responses to the altered precipitation regimes predicted as a component of climate change.