I received my B.S. (Biology) in 2002 from Brown University, and my Ph.D. in 2009 from the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University. My dissertation focused on habitat fragmentation, functional landscape connectivity, and metapopulation processes in amphibians. Following graduate school, I spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in conservation genetics at OSU, funded by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Current research in my lab falls under the categories of molecular ecology or conservation genetics. This means that we use molecular tools to answer ecological or conservation-related questions. A few ongoing and recent projects are:
- Investigations of the reproductive mode and ecology of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders. These salamanders “steal” sperm from co-occurring species, resulting in numerous polyploid genome combinations. (See Christina Casto and Kelsey Mitchell’s work here.)
- The use of occupancy modeling and environmental DNA to assess restoration success for mudpuppy salamanders (Necturus maculosus), in collaboration with David Mifsud. (See Jenny Sutherland’s work here.)
- Assessment of population genetic structure, physiological stress, and dietary differences among snakes living in urban versus rural habitats. (See Jeff Bartman, Lizzie Rock, and Molly Dixon’s work here.)
- Delineating home range and describing habitat use by painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) in the impoundment of a dam targeted for removal. (See Bria Spalding and Andy Pampreen’s work here; Michelle Souza and Edie Nissen also contributed to this project.)