My main interest in microbiome research is it's connection to our mental health and well-being! (My undergrad major is psychology, after all). I am currently working on projects which examine to what extent our gut microbiome impacts our cognitive function outside of developmental periods. I am particularly interested in "sub-clinical" symptoms (i.e. symptoms that are noticeable and tied to well-being, but do not warrant a DSM-5 diagnosis).
Benchmarking Bioinformatics Tools in Microbiome Research
Bioinformatics is strong tool for gathering information in academic and clinical settings. However, many tools exist with overlapping functions but slightly different methods. I'm interested in comparing these tools and assessing how well they perform in metagenomic datasets.
Nutrition, the Microbiome, and Health Outcomes
Nutrition is repeatedly shown to be essential to our gut community, with implications to gut-brain axis function. I am interested in how nutritional therapies may help "stabilize" the gut-brain axis after disruption (e.g. antibiotics, stress, contaminated foods, etc), and how nutrition may be more broadly connected to gut and mental health.
Public Engagement in Microbiome Research
I aim to increase my science communication skills by working with the public in creative ways to spread what we know about the microbiome! Current projects are Zines, Scientist in the Classroom, and other projects. If you have any suggestions, or want to work together on public engagement, please reach out!