In 2007 I received a BS in Classical Languages and Biochemistry from the University of Michigan. A year spent working at a biotechnology company in Southern California convinced me to pursue graduate study in Classics, and I entered the PhD program in Classical Philology at Harvard University. My initial interest was historical linguistics, which introduced me to the vast world of Sanskrit literature. Since then, my interests have developed to include technical literature and medical texts (to allay my scientific leanings) as well the relationships between the Mediterranean and India.
My dissertation, "The Cultivation and Conceptualization of Exotic Plants in the Greek and Roman Worlds," explores how the flora of the East was received and absorbed in the Mediterranean. It includes studies of the use of exotic plants to express relationships of power and hegemony; of the scientific categorization and analysis of plants from India; and of the meanings plants have in ethnography and as consumable objects, both as luxury goods and on a day-to-day basis.