About

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Moore Lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego. I joined the Moore Lab in July 2019. I completed my PhD in the Weng Laboratory of the Department of Biology of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

My dissertation research focused on characterizing the specialzed metabolism of firefly luciferin. My PhD research involved de novo transcriptomic and genomic sequencing and assembly, recombinant and crude enzymology, and LC-MS. I was a founding member of the Photinus pyralis (Big Dipper firefly) genome project, leading to the first linkage group resolution genome of any firefly. I’m interested in comparative genomic approaches to decipher metabolic questions generally.

Key findings of my PhD research include:

  • Sequencing and assembly of the Photinus pyralis (Big Dipper Firefly) genome, and its comparison to other bioluminescent beetles, leading to the finding that click-beetle and firefly luciferase evolved separately
  • The discovery of sulfoluciferin and luciferin sulfotransferase, which we now understand are conserved in all fireflies (Lampyridae)

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