Research

Research Interests

I am interested in the conservation of nature. To date I have predominantly studied reptiles, amphibians, and sharks and rays. My current research lies at the interface of theoretical and applied biology, and uses theory to guide the management of threatened  and endangered species.

Longleaf pine flatwoods on Eglin Air Force Base, FL

Current Research

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at Virginia Tech in Holly Kindsvater’s lab, investigation broad life-history patterns across vertebrates from a conservation perspective.

Past Research

I recently completed my PhD at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (supervisor: Carola Haas), in the department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.  I was integral in the development of a recovery plan for flatwoods salamanders, Ambystoma bishopi. Specifically my research focuses on modelling the population dynamics of flatwoods salamanders to evaluate the long term viability of the species and guide management decisions. I was privileged to conduct my field work on Eglin Air Force Base, FL, one of the last bastions for a slew of southeastern endemics, including red-cockaded woodpeckers, reticulated sirens, and bog frogs. My work is part of a broader effort to conserve and restore longleaf pine ecosystems in the southeastern US.

Tagging tortoises is serious business. The incomparable Billy Moore showing me how it’s done

The capstone research project of my undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield, UK (supervisor: Dylan Childs) investigated the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions. Inspired by the introduction of cane toads to Australia, I evaluated how key life-history traits are likely to respond to novel predation pressures and the myriad repercussions of such rapid evolutionary change.

A Basilisk from the Costa Rican jungle. Fast enough to run on water, but not fast enough to escape this Englishman

My master’s degree at the University of Sheffield, UK (supervisor: Gavin Thomas) investigated the macroevolutionary consequences of parity mode in squamate reptiles. Employing Bayesian and frequentest methodologies, I jointly modeled the diversification of species and traits across the squamate phylogeny to infer how present day biodiversity has arisen over time.

I have advised several undergraduate research project, investigating reproductive ecology of the Florida bog frog, life-history strategies in plethodontid salamanders, and growth and ontogeny in reticulated flatwoods salamanders.