I began my research and teaching career as an undergraduate at Oberlin College, where I majored in neuroscience and biology. After Oberlin, I worked at Harvard Medical School, conducting MRI research with Dr. Jill Goldstein. That work piqued my interest in sex differences and the impact of social environment on behavior and disease.
In 2004, I joined Emory University's neuroscience program as a graduate student. I spent the next several years working with Dr. Larry J. Young and monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) to explore the impact of early life family environment on the development of adult social and emotional behaviors, as well as the neural systems that underlie these behaviors. During this time, I also developed an avid interest in teaching undergraduates and was awarded with a Scholarly Inquiry & Research at Emory graduate fellowship and a Dean's Teaching Fellowship.
After earning my PhD, I accepted a postdoctoral position with Nancy G. Forger at the Center for Neuroendocrine Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Dr. Forger is now at Georgia State University.) At UMass-Amherst, I worked on two projects, one assessing postnatal cell death in the developing mouse brain and one investigating epigenetic differences between male and female brains. These large-scale projects have now been published.
In 2011, I became an assistant professor in the department of psychology and behavioral neuroscience program at Quinnipiac University. At QU, I teach a range of courses, from Introduction to Psychology to Physiological Psychology and Drugs, Brain and Behavior. I am also continuing work on sexual differentiation and have re-initiated my investigations of early family environment and the development of adult social and emotional behaviors.
For 2016-2018, I am funded by a NARSAD Young Investigator Award grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This grant supports my study of how genes and environment interact to influence social behavior.