Growing up in rural central Wisconsin, and encouraged by my parents, I developed a strong interest in the outdoors and wildlife. My upbringing has fostered in me a sense of conservation and land ethic. I believe it is important to understand natural processes and the impact that anthropogenic perturbations have on the natural world. As an undergraduate, I became fascinated with small mammals and many aspects of their life history. This interest has lead me down a research path investigating diverse topics related to small mammals – ranging from methods of differentiating species to identifying proximal factors regulating community structure and composition. In my free time I enjoy drawing and running, and try to do a marathon each year.