Sandy has a broad background in lab science with experience in medical technology, bench chemistry, and molecular biology, and has worked with a variety of organisms including prokaryotes, invertebrates, and frogs (it's just DNA to her). She's a Midwesterner with a masters degree in environmental biology from Governors State University in Illinois, where she studied the molecular microbial ecology of marine ammonia oxidizing bacterial communities under various ammonia dosing levels. She enjoys mentoring students in lab techniques and etiquette, and especially enjoyed the time she spent teaching a variety of biology classes at Kankakee Community College near her home town.  She possesses a latent desire to understand phylogenetic theory and is interested in the possible evolutionary relationships among heat shock proteins and their regulatory genes, species diversity and climate change in the Northeast Atlantic rocky intertidal.