I am a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Auckland with a mixed background in philosophy and biology. Before coming to New Zealand I grew up in Seattle, got my BA at Reed College, spent four years in Italy working for a synthetic biology company, and completed my PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.
I work on philosophical questions about scientific inquiry and methodology. My areas of research focus include the philosophy of biology (especially microbiology, astrobiology, evolutionary and conservation biology), philosophy of science (especially experiments and models), bioethics and environmental ethics. During my PhD I worked in a lab doing experimental microbial evolution, and a lot of my work involves thinking about this and other areas of inquiry that challenge our ideas about life and its simplest forms.
I am co-organizing a national panel advising on social and ethical issues in invasive species management in New Zealand, specifically regarding Predator Free 2050, with funding from the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. You can learn more about the panel’s activities through our information page or this interview.
I am also an executive member of Te Ao Mārama—Centre for Fundamental Inquiry, a new research center in the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland focusing on fundamental questions about life and the universe.
Here is a link to a PDF of my full CV.