Bailey graduated from Mississippi University for Women (MUW) with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry. She was a member of the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, which allowed her to conduct an independent research project as part of her honors thesis. She has done multiple research projects on the evolution of functional traits from a micro to macro scale. During her undergraduate studies she took part in summer research at Auburn University studying adaptation in the genomes in differing strains of daphnia. At MUW she studied the evolution of adhesive toe pads across multiple lizard species, as well as studying changes in toe pad shape in urban and forest populations of one species of anole (Anolis cristatellus) for her final research project.
Now as a Ph.D. student in the Uyeda lab, she hopes to combine her knowledge of macroevolutionary processes and constraints to determine if this information is useful to elucidate changes in functional traits due to more recent processes like urbanization. She hopes to incorporate comparative methods and trait data to understand lizards’ responses to anthropogenic changes and why some species can adapt more easily than others. She hopes to grow her skills in science communication and expand opportunities for science outreach.
Bailey joined to Interfaces of Global Change program to further develop her science communication skills for engaging with both the general public and policymakers. She believes that being an IGC fellow will make her research more impactful by allowing her to understand the different facets of interdisciplinary research, conservation, and science communication.