Faculty & Staff

I attended Shawnee State University in Ohio for my undergraduate education, and that is where I developed my love for biology and for a broad education. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy in 2005. I earned my Ph.D. in Microbiology from Indiana State University in 2011. I thought I wanted to study human pathogens, but found my home in a microbial genetics lab studying Bacillus subtilis, a harmless soil bacterium that does some pretty awesome multicellular behaviors. My thesis examined the function of the gene swrA in regulating swarming motility in Bacillus subtilis. I also discovered and characterized a novel gene (minJ) involved in controlling cell division in Gram positive bacteria.

It was at IUB that I first taught a course on my own, and became passionate about teaching at a university.


After completing my thesis work, I took temporary positions at a few small universities before starting at Truman in 2015. My research at Truman focuses on gene regulation in the model Gram positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, with a focus on the behaviors of swarming motility, biofilm formation, and sporulation. Researchers in my lab also examine how chemical signals affect these behaviors in vitro and in planta.

As part of Microbiology courses, I also engage students in the Tiny Earth Initiative, where we search for novel antibiotic producing bacteria in soil.