I grew up near Denver, Colorado and spent much of my childhood gallivanting around the Rocky Mountains, where I discovered a love for exploration and the hidden jewels of the natural world. I am now a graduate student in Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology where I study exotic microbial metabolisms in an attempt to understand the limits of life on Earth and beyond. I have followed extreme life forms to acidic rivers, ice caves, deserts, the high Andes, and the deep ocean, and have worked on NASAs Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix Mars Lander.
As a Marshall Scholar at Imperial College London, I worked on a life detection instrument for the upcoming ExoMars mission and perfected my croquet swing. At Caltech, I work with Professor Victoria Orphan on the microbial communities of oceanic methane vents, which play a critical role in greenhouse gas cycling. I have also worked for Googles marketing team, and reported on science, the environment, and international development for The New York Times. I am a Contributor at Wired, where I write the Extremo Files blog on extreme life forms, astrobiology, and exploration.