Research Interests

Population genomics
I am currently using next-generation sequencing techniques (mostly RAD and WGS for DNA sequence) to do one too many things to keep this site updated properly (see: Publications). The general foci are genetic marker development (MSAT, mtDNA, SNP) and phylogenomics in non-model wildlife populations.

Genetic Capture Mark Recapture
We recently used a genetic capture mark recapture (CMR) framework to estimate abundance and density in black-tailed deer populations in Mendocino National Forest in CA. We plan to use these data to model what ecological factors have been driving population fluctuations in the past several decades. See Publications for some results!

Buff-breasted Sandpiper conservation genetics
For my Master’s thesis work, I studied conservation genetics in Buff-breasted Sandpipers. Briefly, buffies are a New World migratory shorebird that is has experienced declines over the last few centuries. The goal of my study was to elucidate the impacts of this decline on the genetic characteristics of this species.

Small hive beetle population genetics
As an undergraduate, I studied contemporary and phylogeographic population dynamics of an obligate parasite of honeybees in the U.S. We used microsatellites and mtDNA markers to elucidate patterns of invasion in this agricultural pest, and the paper is featured as an example for undergraduates to excitedly skip over in Molecular Ecology, 2nd Edition (2011).

Alligator neuroethology
Immediately following earning my Bachelor’s degree, I briefly studied dome pressure receptor sensitivity in American alligators. I was only involved in the preliminary data collection steps, but I was fortunate enough to do some dark-room sensitivity tests with juvenile alligators.

Siamese fighting fish mating behaviour
For my undergraduate honors thesis, I studied the role of spatial and individual novelty as an inbreeding avoidance mechanism driving female mate choice in Betta splendens. Using dichotomous affiliation tests and watching hours of fish swimming in circles, we had some mixed results that warrant future testing using larger samples…

Zebrafish nutrition, fecundity, transgenics
As an undergraduate, I helped test the impact of a nutritional supplement on zebrafish fecundity. It was mostly a lot of counting eggs under a microscope… But I used this to transition to a study transfecting zebrafish to express GFP, and I picked up some valuable embryo micromanipulation skills.