Originally from Tucson, AZ, I obtained my bachelors degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona. There I specialized in Cultural Heritage Conservation Science and well as in Characterization Studies. While at the UofA I did most of my research in the field of art conservation. I studied at the Arizona State Museum and at the Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) as a conservation assistant for a number of years. In order to integrate more science in my museum experience I also did research with Dr. Pamela Vandiver at the University of Arizona on the characterization and recreation of Ru ware, a 12th century Chinese pottery. From there I worked with Dr. Kelly Simmons-Potter on the accelerated aging and laser ablation of museum polymers, specifically PVA and B-72, on ceramic substrates.
In the Dunand group I am studying biological ceramics, namely teeth. I am working both at Northwestern and at Argonne National Lab to determine how load is transferred both nanoscopically and microscopically within the tooth structure. By considering the tooth structure as a ceramic-polymer composite we hope to be able to identify the reasons and mechanisms associated with tooth strength under different loading conditions. This is done by using Synchrotron irradiation and analyzing diffraction ring deformation. I intend to graduate in Dec 2011 and hope to become a professor in the field of biomaterial mechanics and art conservation science.