I am a biologist with primary research interests in ecology and evolutionary biology. My research addresses the process of adaptive evolution, its mechanistic basis, and its consequences for populations, communities and ecosystems. I study the phenotypic and genetic mechanisms by which populations of organisms adapt to their environment, and the impacts that evolution in critical species has on ecological communities and ecosystem properties. My study systems include natural freshwater ecosystems and model laboratory microcosms. I employ diverse methods including field sampling and manipulative laboratory experiments with freshwater zooplankton, DNA sequencing, population genetics and genomics, phylogenetics, functional genomics, and mathematical modeling. In my Ph.D. research with Ben Kerr at the UW in Seattle I investigated ultraviolet radiation tolerance in populations of the water flea Daphnia melanica inhabiting shallow subalpine ponds in the Olympic Mountains (pictured above). In my postdoctoral work and ongoing collaboration with Nelson Hairston’s laboratory at Cornell University, I explore how the impacts of evolutionary change within populations can scale up to impact communities and ecosystems, using laboratory microcosms and experimental ponds.
Courses Taught at Ithaca College
- BIOL 27100: General Ecology (Lecture and Labs) - Fall 2014
- To be determined - Spring 2015