Ecologist, Educator, Entrepreneur, & Elected Official
I received my B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College as an NOAA Hollings Scholar, and am currently a Ph.D. Student at Duke University in the Nicholas School of the Environment. In addition to being a Dean's Graduate Fellow at Duke, I am also a recipient of the NSF GRFP, a Ford Fellow and a National Geographic Explorer. My research focuses on developing novel ecosystem-based restoration and management practices to restore foundation species worldwide. I am fiercely committed to increasing the representation of women and ethnic minorities in ocean sciences and elevating the voices and contributions of student scientists. I have served as an appointed member of the Ecological Society of America's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice taskforce, a member of the Board of Directors for Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science (BWEEMS), and I am currently the youngest Early Career Liaisons appointed to the US National Committee for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Additionally, as the Director of iNviTechnology (iNviTECH), I work with children ages 0-5 and K-12 students to combat the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields. I also serve as an elected official in her hometown of Durham, N.C. as Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.
The Marine Ecologist
As a marine community ecologist, my research is focused on testing and advancing co-existence theory through field experiments, with the applied objective of increasing the resilience and productivity of foundation species (e.g. oysters, seagrass, and coral).
As an Educator, I employ a holistic approach that incorporates socratic querying, mentorship, teaching, and curriculum development. Throughout my career, I have worked as an educator and science communicator with non-profits, school districts, and academic intuitions. Thus, I work with a myriad of diverse students of all ages and education levels (e.g. K-12, undergraduates, and master’s students).
I have been immersed in the field of entrepreneurship since I was a baby, starting my first business, a private swim lesson and lifeguarding company, at the age of 15. Currently, I serve as the Director of iNviTECH, an organization focused on increasing underrepresented minority participation in STEM fields through educational entrepreneurial programs designed to engage young children ages 0-5 and K-12 students.
The Elected Official
As the youngest elected official in Durham, N.C. and the Durham Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor, I work to; 1) create sustainable and equitable strategies for the conservation of local soil and water resources, 2) increase representation for people of Color and Black Women in environmental conservation fields, and 3) elevate the voice of the Durham’s youth in decision-making processes.