Scientists are human and it's ok for us to enjoy other things in life! 

I enjoy food - from growing, making, and sharing - with others. Gardening gave me solace and an escape during grad school in Santa Cruz. I also managed to garden in Laramie, Wyoming at 7200' (when it can snow any months of the year) and the south side of Chicago in urban community gardens. In Lexington, I have a garden in my backyard and don't need to worry about snow in June. Who knows how gardening will go in Merced, California but I'm excited to live so close to where so much food is produced.

Here are some photos of my past gardens, harvests, and pizza ovens.


Another hobby, although less practiced these days, is traveling off the beaten path. Most of my travel these days is within the US with short trips to populated places seeing friends or family. In the past, I reserved my vacations for longer trips see new landscapes. Some times that is backpacking into the wilderness or long road trips interspersed with short day hikes. When the time and finances allow, I also love international trips to see new places and meet new people. Two of my most recent trips are to Tanzania and the Wind River Range in Wyoming. 

I visited Dr. Tom Morrison, wildebeest extraordinaire, while he was doing a postdoc on savannah tree dynamics during December 2012. It was a great reprieve from the harsh Laramie winter and I spent time in Arusha, the Serengeti, and driving between as well as Christmas in Zanzibar. The trip included charismatic megafauna, tropical fruits (mango season has 5 varieties in Tanzania!!), meeting some locals, and time with Tom. If you ever have the opportunity to visit sub-Saharan Africa, I highly recommend it (this was my second trip and I hope to go again some day).


I feel privileged to say, "I lived in Wyoming." The rugged landscape is amazing throughout the state and not many experience it through all the seasons or beyond Jackson Hole. The locals in Laramie refer to it as Laradise, which is especially fitting in the summer when the Wyoming outdoors can't be beat. I enjoyed exploring around Laramie in the Snowy Range and Vedauwoo State Park, but one of the highlights in Wyoming was a 6 day backpacking trip to the Wind River Range with my friends, Drs. Tracey Johnson and Dr. Karl Kosciuch, and husband. We hiked in over two days, set up base camp in Titcomb basin, caught lots of trout, and had a great time with our dogs.