Research Projects

I currently work in the Jordan Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. My project's goal is to understand the relationship between ancestry, admixture, and the burden of inheritable disease in humans. During my time as an undergraduate I worked in two different research laboratories: Paleoecology Lab and Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (SABOL) Lab. Over the summer of 2015 I worked at the NASA Goddard Center for Astrobiology on a project regarding a Martian analog site in Southwestern Australia.


Graduate Research Project

FISH_chromosomes_300dpi.jpg

I am fascinated by the ancestral patterns of modern populations and therefore joined the Jordan Lab at Georgia Tech to explore the relationship between ancestry, admixture, and the burden of inheritable disease. I analyze data from the 1000 genomes project and relate the locus-specific ancestry information of each individual with their overall burden of disease.


Undergraduate Research Projects

Martian Geology
 

The Martian geochemistry is strikingly similar to the mineralogical characteristics of Lake Gilmore in Western Australia. After a thorough analysis of two lake cores,  a methanotroph community was detected at the bottom of one of the cores and therefore rose questions about the potential of life on Mars. I conducted a Carbon Isotope analysis using an EA/IRMS on both sediment cores to test the reliability of the previous results found by an associated research group.

SABOL
 

It is currently hypothesized that the collection of self-aggregating protein chains in the human brain is positively correlated with neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this project was to understand the first steps in the protein fiber aggregation process. This study demonstrated protein fiber growth in weightlessness on-board the International Space Station (ISS). The fibers were imaged using an atomic force microscope (AFM) and the quantitative fiber information was collected, analyzed, and visualized.

Paleoecology
 

Through the study of fossil pollen, sporormiella, and charcoal, we can reconstruct the history of habitats in tropical South America. These paleoecological records allow us to model climate change over the last 200,000 years and relate it to patterns of biodiversity, speciation, and human occupation. From these observations we contribute to the current debate on global climate change and species conservation.