I am a global change biologist in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at University of Florida (website).
*You can find my CV here
Current Research Interests:
In the field, I study canopy science in southeast Asia, Australia and Africa with emphasis placed on arboreal amphibian and reptile communities. Here, I’m interested in a range of questions: How do communities structure from the ground to rainforest canopy? What habitats might these communities depend on in order to live in these hot and dry environments? and How susceptible are these communities to climate change?
Besides for canopy science, my research explores predictors of species diversity, linking species diversity and community structuring to climatic gradients and overall conservation and sustainability (e.g., plastic reduction).
In the Beginning:
My fascination in science stems from growing up in rural Illinois where I spent my childhood fishing, catching frogs, and raising gophers. I later strengthened my interest in natural history (particularly pond-breeding salamanders) during my Bachelor of Science degree at the University of the South located on the Cumberland Plateau in Sewanee, TN. This is a beautiful place located just east of the Appalachians and supports an incredibly diverse community of Plethodontid and Ambystomatid salamanders and great bird watching year round. During my undergraduate degree, I studied the distribution and land-use changes surrounding ephemeral ponds (aka vernal pools) on the Cumberland Plateau and examined the effects of forest loss and habitat conversion on the pond-breeding salamander, Ambystoma maculatum.
Some additional highlights that helped guide my research career are: working as an assistant for Raymond Semlitsch of the University of Missouri on the Land-use Effects on Amphibian Populations (LEAP) project in Hermann, Missouri and conducting nest searches and behavioral studies with Pale-headed Brush-Finch (Atlapetes pallidiceps) in the Yunguillan Valley, Azuay, Ecuador. I later obtained my Masters of Science degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada studing urban amphibian ecology with an emphasis on amphibian distribution and movements in urbanized landscapes and amphibian breeding and recruitment in stormwater ponds.