RESEARCH

Evolutionary Biology, Behavioral Ecology, Genomics, Arachnology

I’m a behavioral ecologist and evolutionary biologist. In particular, I study how genetic mechanisms (natural selection, kin selection, social heterosis, relaxed selection, and gene flow) affect the way animals behave, but also how behavior affects these genetic mechanisms. On the behavioral side of my research program, I’m interested in understanding how organisms compete for resource, why groups form or disband, how variation in animal personality affects groups and populations, and how behavior contributes to speciation. From an evolutionary genetics perspective, I’m interested in how parapatric adaptive radiations initiate, how the environment’s physical structure shapes population genetics, and how behavior dictates the genetic relationships between individuals in groups and populations.

I compliment field research with laboratory behavioral studies and molecular genetics. This work has taken me to amazonian Ecuador, the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, and across the mainland United States. I work to make research integrative and multi-leveled.

The amblypygid Heterophrynus longicornis eating a spider in the Ecuadorian Amazon.