I grew up in Berkeley, CA (BHS class of 1987) and went to Wesleyan University in Middletown CT for undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and rowing (class of 1991). During this time, I spent a semester abroad studying tropical marine biology at the West Indies Laboratory on St. Croix, USVI. After accepting there was no career as a professional rower, I worked as an intern at the Natural Resources Defense Council on coastal water quality (in New York City, 1991-1992) and public lands management (1992-1993). After 3 years of this amazing office work, I converted a Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon into a camper and traveled for a year (1994) learning to telemark ski, rock climb and mountaineer throughout the west, including living in Jackson Hole for the summer. That was super fun! I spent the next year (1995) back in Berkeley contemplating my future, taking classes in community college, working in outdoor retail, back country skiing, and leading courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School . For the 1995-96 academic year I moved to Seattle to begin exploring graduate school. I took three graduate forest ecology classes at the University of Washington College of Forest Resources , worked with Patricia Anderson and Linda Brubaker on paleoecology and applied to graduate schools throughout the West. I settled on the University of Colorado Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology where I did my PhD with Yan Linhart and Dean Bowers from 1997-2004. I then was a postdoc at Cornell University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with Anurag Agrawal from 2005-2007 when I started my position at University of California Irvine in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology where I have been ever since.