Education & Background:
2021 Ph.D. Student in Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2021 MESc, School of the Environment, Yale University, USA
2018 B.A., Oberlin College, USA
Awards and Grants:
2020 Kohlberg-Donohoe Fellowship (Yale University)
2014-2018 Doris Baron Award for Environmental Studies; Individual Winter Term Project Grant Award; Oberlin Shansi In-Asia Grant; Ann Marie Schaening ’87 Memorial Fund Award; Joyce Gorn Memorial Prize (Oberlin College)
I believe understanding how nature works is the prerequisite for preserving biodiversity, and effective policy is predicated on biological knowledge. I would like to know how populations persist across spatial scales and evolve over landscapes. Arthropods in natural systems allow me to investigate contemporary evolutionary patterns at various spatial scales, develop models to evaluate genomic evolution due to environmental selective pressures on phenotypes, and pin down functional genes under selection.
I grew up in Inner Mongolia and Shenzhen in China, and came to the U.S. for higher education. I have no hometown in the States, but I called home wherever my careers were — Oberlin, OH, New Haven, CT, Chicago, IL, and now Madison, WI. You will often find me volunteering and doing simultaneous interpretation in cultural organizations, particularly ones that build bridges between Chinese and English-speaking communities. In my spare time, I enjoy doing things meditative and relaxing, such as short hikes or people-watching at a café. I maintain a 20-gallon community freshwater tank with harlequin rasboras, neon tetras, one betta called “Leaf”, Amano shrimps, and seven kinds of aquatic plants, not excluding other critters that I unintentionally and necessarily keep as an integral part of the ecosystem.