I am an M.S. Student (planning to stay for Ph.D.) in the Whitfield Lab at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2011, I received my B.S. with Research Honors Distinction in Entomology and Biological Sciences from Cornell University. My major research interests include, broadly: (1) the phylogeny within and among the Hymenoptera, (2) how the methods used for phylogeny reconstruction and DNA sequence alignment interact with the biological data used (and thus how phylogenies are reconstructed), especially involving questions of missing data and taxon choice; and (3) the description and quantification of biodiversity within order Hymenoptera. For more information about my research, including past, current, and future projects, please visit my Research page.
In 2011, I was awarded the Illinois Distinguished Fellowship. I have also been recognized as an Outstanding Teaching Assistant (Fall 2011) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as winning the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant award from Cornell University's Department of Entomology.
I was also selected as a Hughes Scholar (sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) at Cornell University during the Summer of 2010. During my four years at Cornell University, I was recognized for my volunteer work and hardworking attitude by a Cornell Tradition Fellowship (Fall 2007 - Spring 2011).
I am very grateful to have received these various distinctions and honors, and would not be able to pursue my research now without this support.
Outside of my research, I was an active brother of the Tau Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. I served as the president during my senior year of undergraduate education, and have remained an active member of the Housing Corporation, where I currently serve as Secretary.
My hobbies include camping, cooking, baking, sewing, painting, and drawing. I also have experience programming in various languages (primarily Java), and in web design. I have been the co-webmaster of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Entomology Department website since Spring 2012.
In addition to this, I also enjoy video games, modern literature, and rock music.