I have always been passionate about understanding how animals think, feel, and interact with the world around them. A native of Massachusetts, I graduated from Harvard University, where I explored these ideas in many contexts--studying parrot cognition in Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s lab at Harvard; primate-human interactions in Rwanda; dogs’ perceptions of morality at Yale University’s Canine Cognition Center; and gorilla behavior at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. Most recently, I conducted my undergraduate thesis research in Mexico, studying sex differences in the ranging behavior of Yucatan spider monkeys in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. These experiences have confirmed my belief that animals exhibit unique, individual behavioral tendencies, or “personalities,” bringing into question why different personality traits might be favored in the wild. At Cambridge, I will pursue a PhD in Zoology under Dr. Rose Thorogood. My research will examine how personality and social network position influence fitness and other outcomes in hihi (endangered New Zealand birds), and how this information can be used to develop better conservation strategies. Beyond my research, I hope to continue pursuing my other interests in conservation education, creative writing, world music, and percussion. I am so grateful to be joining the Gates Cambridge community and look forward to meeting my fellow scholars!