The focus of my research is exploring the community dynamics of parasites. In particular, I am interested in how the diversity of parasites might interact with the occurrence and severity of disease. I am using mathematical modeling and metacommunity theory to investigate patterns of regional abundance, species sorting, and community dynamics. My study system involves trematode parasites that infect Helisoma trivolvis in small freshwater ponds in the oak chaparral ecoregion of San Francisco Bay area, California. I really enjoy being a graduate student at CU. The department is very supportive and social. Plus, the faculty are very productive and doing amazing research, creating a collaborative and challenging environment for graduate students.