Grace is a Ph.D. candidate in Geology at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX. She recently earned her M.A. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at Columbia University in 2017 and became a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program Fellow in 2015.
Grace is primarily interested in the systematics, morphological evolution, and biogeography of birds and their extinct relatives as well as the conservation of living birds. She is especially focused on studying Gruiformes (cranes, rails and allies) and taxa that were historically included in this group (ie. the kagu, sunbittern, mesites, and turacos). Grace uses a strong foundation in anatomy and morphology coupled with interdisciplinary methodology such as combined data in order to work towards answering her research questions.
Grace believes that scientific outreach is critical to the efficacy of the sciences and being an effective scientist and educator, and is also interested in museum ethics issues. She spent two summers of her undergraduate years as an intern in the Exhibition Department at the American Museum of Natural History, where she aided in constructing several dioramas and implementing educational programming, has conducted much of her scientific research at AMNH, and was a Research Experiences for Undergraduates mentor at AMNH in 2016. Grace has additionally been an organizer of and participant in several scientific and educational outreach programs at the University of Texas at Austin, Columbia University, and the College of Charleston.