Kayla has been a data scientist in the Wheeler Lab since she graduated in December 2021. She was previously an undergraduate researcher for the lab, starting in December 2020. She holds degrees from the University of Montana in History and Mathematics, with a concentration in statistics. In the fall, she will begin her PhD in Statistics at the University of Washington to study machine learning and ethical AI. She recently discussed her interests in this Senior Spotlight created by UM.

In the lab, Kayla is currently finishing a joint research project with Doug Emlenโ€™s evolutionary biology lab. DISCO (DISCO implements Sound Classification Obediently) combines 1-D CNNs, U-Net, ensembling, and Hidden Markov Models to automate the classification of sound files. With the Emlen lab, this work aids in automating the labeling of rhinoceros beetle courtships, but the tool generalizes to any recording. This is a sample beetle courtship recording spectrogram with automated labels below it: