Tell me about your project in the lab.

 I work on a variety of collaborative projects between the Michaelson lab and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. Much of my work focuses on understanding how our genetic code helps the brain communicate information. Being able to communicate information between different parts of the brain is important for learning new skills, thinking about fond memories from the past, planning for the future, and experiencing emotions and interpersonal connections. Broadly, I hope to learn how communication within the brain can go wrong, and how to fix it.

You started working in the Michaelson Lab as an undergrad. What about your time here made you want to go to graduate school?

Discovering things that no one else has ever known is powerfully rewarding, especially if those discoveries can help improve the lives of others. Perpetual thirst for discovery is the atmosphere of the Michaelson lab. Being submerged in that atmosphere as an undergraduate student illuminated my path forward.

What is your go-to colorbrewer pallette?

For categorical data, I'll usually go with Set2. For sequential data, I like to use BuPu. For diverging data I like to use either RdBu or RdYlBu

 What kind of activities do you do outside of the lab?

I enjoy outdoor activities and try to spend as much time in nature as possible (not always an option in grad school). Mountains are playgrounds for me - I like to backpack through them, snowboard and ski down them, or climb them. I've started taking after my parents and am developing an interest in birding as well. I have more hobbies than I have time for (reading, 3D-printing, violin, etc).

What is your favorite evergreen tree species?

I enjoy evergreen trees in general, but I'll go with Blue Spruce. I grew up on a small family farm in northeast Iowa growing corn, soybeans, pumpkins, and evergreen trees. Outside of the main tree fields, we had patches of Blue Spruce trees dedicated to wildlife. They have a distinct blue-grey color and smell nice. Oh, and since our Blue Spruce were reserved for wildlife, I never had to cut grass around them.