BS, Brown University, 2002
Ph.D.,Ohio State University, 2009
Broadly, my research areas are molecular ecology (the use of molecular genetic tools to answer ecological questions) and conservation biology. I am particularly interested in amphibians, as they can be important indicators of habitat degradation and other environmental disturbances ("canaries in the coal mine"). I am currently interested in the use of molecular tools for two major purposes. First, such analyses can be highly informative regarding the conservation status of imperiled populations. For example, I have used genetic data to quantify population isolation and its relation to human modification of the surrounding landscape. Second, I use genetic data to identify genomic composition of unisexual (all female) Ambystoma salamanders. These salamanders "steal" sperm from co-occurring species, resulting in numerous polyploid biotypes (genome combinations). This unique mode of reproduction, known as kleptogenesis, likely originated five million years ago. My current research focuses on the ecological consequences and conservation implications of this complex system.
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