Gemini Brings Tapas Made With Locally Sourced Ingredients to Boulder
A number of old restaurant buddies began working at a new restaurant on Pearl Street and were very excited about the potential this place had. There was a great energy so I did a photo shoot and interviewed the chef.
For Boulder County, This Is the Disaster That United Us
After the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, I brought a camera and told the stories of neighbors and community members impacted by the fire. This was certainly a disaster but the community came together and restored my faith in humanity.
Blackbelly Fire Relief Efforts Bounce Back After Break-In
After the Marshall Fire, a local restaurant transformed their outdoor seating tent into a donation center for the families that lost their homes/belongings. This story was about the incredible work they did but also about an unsavory character that broke in and caused mayhem.
A Conversation with Mark Glenn of Conscious Coffee
This was a passionate and informative conversation with a Boulder coffee roaster who started Conscious Coffee. He sourced directly from small scale coffee growers and paid them above market prices for their coffee. No gimmicks. Eco-friendly and human rights-friendly.
Talking Coffee with US Barista Champion, Andrea Allen
I spoke with Andrea Allen from Onyx Coffee Labs to get some insight on the Barista competition world and to pick her brain about coffee sourcing. They roast high quality beans from around the world and she had great information for consumers about buying coffee.
The Ancient History of Cacao
This article follows the history of cacao cultivation from its origin in the Amazon rainforest to today's industrialized market. If we are to keep cacao thriving, a deep consideration of its history and genetics is essential. Unlike coffee which has only been cultivated for ~500 years, cacao has been cultivated for at least 5,500 years according to current archeological evidence.
Breeding a Strong Future for C. arabica
A primer for better understanding the history and evolution of one of our favorite drinks. The problems we see facing the current coffee producers are linked to an interesting history. I go over actions some breeders are taking to make sure we have a cup of coffee for another few hundred years.
Boulder Heirloom Apples
This article sheds some light on the history of apples in Colorado. Heirloom apple varieties have a deep history in America and they are proving to be an incredible resource for chefs, cideries, and farmers looking to have an edge on the market. The industrialized food system has favored varieties of apples that are uniform in shape, flavor, and are high yielding which is why heirloom apples have been out of the spotlight for the last 60 years or so.
Turning Tragedy into Opportunity
In the Spring of 2020, farmers markets and restaurants were shutdown due to the pandemic which shocked the food system. Grocery store shelves were empty and there were headlines across the county about farmers rolling over their crops, dumping milk, killing livestock, etc. In order to help our local producers, my girlfriend and I converted a short school bus into a rolling farmers market selling fresh produce, bread, meat, mushrooms, etc. It was a huge success and we learned a tremendous amount about how people viewed the local food movement during the pandemic and how the local community looked to their local farmers when the industrial food system cracked.
Effective strategies for isolating DNA from members of Asteraceae with high concentrations of secondary metabolites
This publication is my most recent scientific publication which aimed to curate a DNA extraction protocol specifically for hard-to-extract plants. Many plants make secondary compounds that interfere with the gene sequencing process and I identified a method for "cleaning up" the extraction process.
Genome streamlining via complete loss of introns has occurred multiple times in lichenized fungal mitochondria
This is a scientific paper I co-authored in 2019. Lichen are symbiotic organisms. They are part algae and part fungus and there is very little research on the genetics of such organisms. This research paper aimed to identify unique features of their genome which we sequenced, assembled, and annotated. To sum up an interesting part of this paper, imagine a couple moving in together for the first time. Let's call them Dan and Mary. Dan and Mary both have a couch but their new apartment is small and they don't have room or a need for two couches. Dan decides to toss his couch out and they live happily ever after with Mary's couch. Now imagine Dan is a plant and his couch is a specific gene. Imagine Mary is a fungus and her couch is the same gene. This process gets rid of unnecessary introns, parasitic elements, and redundant genes.
Uncovering evolutionary changes in the mitochondrial genomes of lichenized fungi within the order Arthoniales
This was my undergraduate honors thesis. To give a brief summary, there was a large order of lichen that had not been analyzed genetically and this project revealed some interesting trends in their genomes.