From learning that virtual encryption uses lava lamps to create a truly random code, to observing the habits of sea turtles that nest on beaches in droves to avoid predation, I enjoy experiencing and understanding life through a scientific lens. As a freshman undergrad, I studied crustacean molt cycles to better understand muscle atrophy. Now, I am pursuing a PhD studying energy exchange at the limits of life: how hyperthermophillic, anaerobic (heat-loving, oxygen-avoiding) microorganisms metabolize sediment near the sea vents they call home. Between crab muscles and microbe metabolism, I studied plants. I worked with AB In-Bev (previously known as Anheuser-Busch), the company that makes a third of the world’s beer. I was part of a global breeding team working to breed more disease-resistant barley for beer. A native to Colorado, I’ve grown up understanding the importance of water for agriculture in arid environments. This past summer, I completed my masters studying changes in gene expression in rice when it is exposed to drought stress. I’ve grown up listening to KUNC. I could not be more excited to contribute to science communication with our local public radio station.