Making friends with a California newt (Taricha torosa)

Making friends with a California newt (Taricha torosa)

An ecological community, a group of interacting species living in the same place, is bound together by the network of influences that species have on one another. How species affect one another drives their density and distribution and can lead to population growth or decline. Because of that, I believe that studying between-species interactions is imperative in understanding how to prevent species loss.


I am a second-year doctoral student (Ph.D.) in the Integrative Anthropological Sciences Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). I study primate community ecology, focusing on how competition limits energy intake in several species of monkeys in Uganda (Ngogo Monkey Project). I utilize novel tools in ecology along with mathematical and spatial modeling, and classic ecological methods to study primate population dynamics.

I earned my B.Sc. in Ecology, Animal Behavior and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2013. For my M.Sc. research, I collaborated with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research to study niche partitioning in two species of rock iguanas (Cyclura cornuta and C. ricordi) in the Dominican Republic (2015).

More recently, I began collaborating with US Geological Survey (USGS), to study bobcat prey preference in Southern California in a changing climate.

Most Recent Appointments

  • Ph.D. student – Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Advisor: Dr. Michelle Brown (2017 – present)

  • Research Ecologist– Contractor at United States Geological Survey (2015 – present)

Past appointments

  • Instructor – Science and Engineering Research Academy, UCSB (2018)

  • Instructor – Human Anatomy, Moorpark College (2016 – 2017)

  • M.Sc. student - Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego. Advisor: Dr. Carolyn Kurle (2013 - 2015; Master's Thesis)

  • Teaching Assistant – Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego (2012-2014)

  • Senior Staff Sergeant – 33rd "Caracal" Battalion, Israel Defense Forces (2004-2008)