Research

Phylogenomics, populations genomics, and hybridization in Thamnophis.

My research focuses on incorporating phylogenomic and population genomic techniques to understand how environmental variation and natural histories mediate population structure, local adaptation, and genetic differentiation through time.  I will utilize a Genotyping-by-Sequencing approach to understand the spatial scale at which gene flow might be reduced among populations, and thus, allow for independent local adaptation among populations of garter snakes (Thamnophis atratus and Th. couchii) in response to variation in tetrodotoxin (TTX) bearing Pacific newts (Taricha).  I will also investigate the effects of hybridization on population structure between TTX resistant (Th. atratus) and non-resistant (Th. elegans) snakes.


Sea slug population genomics

My research focuses on the role of dispersal, geography, and environmental variation in shaping population structure by quantifying genome-wide variation in two sympatric nudibranch species, Hopkin’s rose (Okenia rosacea) and Hilton’s Aeolid (Phidiana hiltoni).  Sympatric distribution and alternative developmental strategies observed in these two species allows the opportunity to test responses to changing environments by analyzing how environmental variation (e.g. geographic barriers) and life history strategies influence population structure in marine invertebrates.


Nudibranch phylogenetics and systematics.

The vast diversity in ecology, defensive strategies, natural history, and biology have made the Nudibranchia a model group of study in different fields of research.  My areas of interest involve investigating the groups evolution history and testing hypotheses of dispersal, phenotypic plasticity, and color evolution using genomics.  I am currently working on Aegiridae, Acanthodoris, Knoutsodonta and the suborder Doridina.


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