I came to the fields of soil science and soil microbiology from a background in conservation and natural resources management. I studied resource ecology and environmental policy at the University of Michigan and then worked as the Stewardship Manager for a regional land trust, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, in Western Massachusetts for several years. I returned to graduate school wanting to learn more about belowground plant-microbe interactions in agricultural systems. After receiving an M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2017) from Cornell University, I remained in Ithaca, New York for a postdoc at the Boyce Thompson Institute, studying arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In January 2020, my family and I moved to Ames, Iowa and I joined the NLAE. My work at NLAE is focused on microbial and environmental controls on nitrous oxide emissions and how management systems influence soil and plant-associated microbial communities and their relation to soil health.