I received my MSc degree (Dipl. Biol.) in Marine Biology in 1999 from the University of Bremen, Germany were I studied autecology and behavior of wormsnails (Vermetidae) in the Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan and Israel. In 2007 I received my PhD in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois at Chicago. My PhD thesis focused on venus clam systematics, taxonomy, morphometrics and phylogeography. After finishing my thesis I was lecturer and course coordinator at the University of Illinois at Chicago, adjunct faculty at the University of St. Francis (Joliet) for Invertebrate Zoology and visiting curator at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. In November 2008 I started my work as a Lerner-Gray Postdoctoral Fellow at the AMNH and I am currently investigating the evolution of mitochondrial inheritance in bivalves.