Hi, my name is Madison, and I started my Ph.D. program in Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University under Dr. Matt Johnson in Fall 2021. Growing up, my father had a farm in northwest Missouri, so I was constantly surrounded by nature. I fell in love with the outdoors and learning all I could about wildlife and plants. I am broadly interested in using genetics to research and protect endangered, threatened, and ecologically important species in their natural habitats.
I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia where I worked as an undergraduate research assistant under Dr. Gary Johnson. This was where I first became interested in genetics and considered pursuing it as a career path. I continued in a master’s program at San Francisco State University under Dr. Jason T. Cantley. My thesis on “Exploring evolutionary adaptations of leaf heteroblasty in subspecific taxa of Hawaiian Chenopodium oahuense (Meyen) Aellen, Amaranthaceae Juss.” investigated a recently described endangered Chenopodium taxon, further defining it as its own subspecies as well as documenting its heteroblastic leaf changes from juvenile to adulthood. I also became interested in bioinformatics and morphometrics, primarily in R.
At Texas Tech, I am very excited to work under Dr. Johnson and learn how to use current genetic and bioinformatic tools to assess the ecologically important species of the Guadalupe Mountains (GUMO). In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my cat, playing video games, and hiking.