I'm an American living in Cork, Ireland 🇺🇸 🇮🇪. I work as a neuroscientist at a university. Outside of the lab, I enjoy singing with a choir 🎶, making TikToks, and listening to podcasts. More below! ⬇️
I’m a scientist living and working Cork, but I’m originally from the United States. I grew up in a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. Which you may know as the home of Mardi Gras! I went to college in New Orleans, where I studied neuroscience as my major…but I also studied music! I participated in the choir, musical theatre productions, and took music theory classes. I had a bit of a double life in college.
I’ve always tried to balance my career as a scientist with my love of music as a hobby. Even now, I sing with a choir in Cork and I like to make singing videos on my TikTok account. My videos are a mix of “life in the lab”, singing, and some other silly trends.
I also have a pet cat who lives with my parents back in the states. Her name is Daphne and I miss her terribly!
My research focuses on stress and the brain. Stress is a big risk factor for developing mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. And these common mental health issues are twice as common in women compared to men – especially young women. But this difference between males and females only starts after puberty. So we think that there might be something interesting happening during puberty that might lead to women being more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
To understand the biology behind this, I study rats, which are commonly used as a “model organism” in biomedical research because of their anatomical and genetic similarity to humans. I study what’s going on in their brains to change their behaviours.
My Typical Day
My day is a mix of experiments in the lab, analyzing data, writing up the results of my studies, and of course emails! Plus, I always make time for plenty of coffee ☕️🙂 more below ⬇️
One of the best parts of being a scientist is being able to control my own schedule. I get to decide what tasks I want to accomplish each day and set my schedule however I like. So most days I get to work on a few different tasks — Either in the lab doing what we call “wet lab” work (think tubes, cells, solutions, cool machines…mad scientist stuff 👩🏻🔬) or spending time at my computer trying to put together the information I got from the experiments (the all-important *data*) and then figuring out what the heck it all means! And then I share what I learned in a way that other people can understand. If it sounds like a lot…it is! But that’s why I have amazing fellow scientists and friends who are with me every step of the way. Sometimes scientists in popular culture are shown as being very solitary, but it’s definitely the opposite!
What I'd do with the prize money
I'd like to purchase some fun neuroscience "experiments" for our department to use in educational outreach!
PhD, Neuroscience, University of Virginia 2017; BS, Neuroscience, Tulane University 2012
Postdoctoral researcher, University College Cork; Graduate researcher, North Carolina State University & University of Virginia; Undergraduate researcher, Tulane University
Postdoctoral research scientist, University College Cork
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
singing neuroscientist TikToker
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Rarely...I'm too much of a nerd to make trouble.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Spotify says Ariana Grande, but I say CHVRCHES
What's your favourite food?
that's a tough call...I'll have to say fettucine alfredo
What is the most fun thing you've done?
white water rafting in West Virginia
Tell us a joke.
What kind of fish performs brain surgeries? A neurosturgeon