I am gay and I am an assistant professor.//
I am an ecologist who studies microbes that live in our guts. I grew up in Western Montana with a blue-collar poet father and a yogi mother. My younger brother is a wildland forest firefighter and skateboarder/snowboarder. I was very fortunate in that my family and friends supported me when I came out as gay in high school. I went to the University of Montana for undergrad and received bachelor’s degrees in French language and literature, molecular biology, and microbiology (with a minor in chemistry). Next, I studied for a master’s degree in synthetic biology at Uppsala University on a Fulbright Scholarship. I spent the following year working on a science ranch (mpgranch.com). I completed my PhD in biophysics at the University of Chicago (2011-2015). I studied the ecology and evolution of the human gut microbiome as a postdoctoral scholar at MIT and the Broad Institute (2015-2018). In 2018, I started my lab at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB). My partner, filmmaker Jeff Verlanic, and I have been together since 2006.