I am a conservation biologist and community ecologist that is passionate about conserving species with complex life cycles. My favorite taxa are freshwater mussels --- they have neat interactions with fish, live long lives, and contribute to stream function. I've also worked on anurans and longleaf pine-associated bird assemblages (with red-cockaded woodpeckers as the focal species). My research history is a little chaotic, but I always try to inform species conservation by capitalizing on available data or current management activities.
Currently, I am an ORISE participant in a USFS Postdoctoral Fellowship evaluating watershed health & freshwater mussel communities with Dr. Wendell Haag and Dr. Steven Price. Formerly, I was a postdoc in Dr. Meryl Mims and Dr. Jeff Walters labs at Virginia Tech. I graduated in May 2020 with a Ph.D. in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Oklahoma and was advised by Dr. Caryn Vaughn. In the spring of 2015, I completed my masters in Applied Geography as a student of Dr. Steve Wolverton at the University of North Texas.
Geographic Ecology & Conservation
Using big data to answer conservation questions -- As a postdoc, I leverage "big" data to answer two aid in two conservation-focused projects: which anurans are most vulnerable to climate change and how can we leverage red-cockaded woodpecker data to aid the conservation of other species in longleaf pine habitats. I work with GBIF data, Breeding Bird Survey data, and remotely sensed data to aid in these ongoing projects.
Community Ecology of Stream Ecosystems -- Freshwater mussels are imperiled ecosystem engineers that alter the environment other organisms experience. I research how mussels influence macroinvertebrate communities and fish in stream ecosystems.
Geographic Ecology of Freshwater Mussels -- Freshwater mussels are diverse taxonomically and functionally; I am interested in how mussel traits vary across broad scales [space for now, perhaps time in the future].
Applied Zooarchaeology of Freshwater Mussels – Using shell remains found in archaeological contexts as evidence of past freshwater mussel communities, past communities can be used as a benchmark for conservation or evidence of past stream environments.
Software Carpentry Instructor
University of Oklahoma
Intro to Quantitative Biology teaching assistant
Ecology teaching assistant
Stream Ecology teaching assistant
Authentic Research in Introductory Biology - A Laboratory Course
University of North Texas
Earth Sciences Lab Instructor
Biology for Educators Lab Instructor