Title: Asst Professor - Research
Office: 820F Rieveschl Hall
Landscape genetics/genomics, functional genomics, evolution, speciation, hybrid admixure and contact zones, African amphibians, Galapagos finches
I am broadly interested in how species evolution is impacted by the biotic and abiotic environment in which it takes place. In other words, how do habitat patchiness, meta-population dynamics, and interactions with other species influence evolution, diversification, and ultimately speciation. This research encompasses landscape genomics, hybrid zone dynamics, comparative phylogeography, and functional genomics.
Much of my doctoral work concerned how species diversify within fragmented landscapes, particularly Hyperolius frogs in the highlands of East Africa. My postdoctoral work has focused on two distinct systems: fire ants (Solenopsis) and Darwin’s finches. Both of these systems have aspects of rapid speciation and diversification in patchy landscapes, and lend themselves well to the use of functional genomics as much of their basic biology is already well established. Current projects include investigating the role of Wolbachia in Solenopsis hybridization, and using a combination of landscape genomics and functional genomics to identify gene regions involved in the diversification of craniofacial features of Darwin’s finches.