Originally from Ireland, Caitlin Bloomer completed an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She then made the big jump across the pond to join the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! Bloomer is currently a PhD Candidate studying Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in Dr Chris Taylor’s lab with the Illinois Natural History Survey. Her work focuses on the distributional drivers of burrowing crayfish, from broad environmental factors to specifics like their diet. Bloomer has travelled around Missouri, Arkansas, and Kentucky examining some amazing and beautiful crayfish. This year, She was awarded the Kenneth Jay Boss Fellowship in Invertebrate Zoology which allowed her to spend the summer in the National Museum of Natural History working on her project ‘Evaluating the reproductive investment of US burrowing crayfishes’. Bloomer hopes to continue her work with crayfish conservation in the future, and maybe even make a return trip to see her favourite specimens at NMNH!