Google Scholar Profile
Ecology and evolution of mainland and island Anolis lizards
I am interested in the evolution and ecology of mainland Anolis species, which have generally received less attention and remain more poorly-understood than their island relatives. I am therefore performing a thorough case study of a mainland species complex, Anolis lemurinus, and its recently diverged island relatives. I plan to resolve the relationships between A. lemurinus group populations throughout Central America, explore population history and demographics in several recently-split island populations, and describe mainland-island divergence and adaptation using a combination of genetic, morphological, and ecological evidence from populations throughout the species’ range. This project will provide unique insight into both mainland Central American biogeography and diversification, as well as island biogeography and adaptation.
Host-microbiome interaction in Ensatina salamanders
I completed my Master’s degree at San Francisco State University (Vredenburg/Zink labs), where I explored variation in skin-associated microbial communities (microbiomes) on several subspecies of Ensatina eschscholtzii salamanders. Different aspects of this project have been published in the journal Microbial Ecology (2017), and Frontiers in Microbiology (2018)! Stay tuned for more publications in the future.
Honey bee gut immune mechanisms
For my undergraduate senior thesis at Barnard College I studied the gut immune response to pathogenic bacteria in the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the Snow lab. I used gene expression analysis to determine which genes were upregulated in response to ingestion of foreign (and potentially pathogenic) bacteria. I also characterized reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the gut, which is thought to play a role in the anti-bacterial response as well.
Adaptation to urban environments in Anolis cristatellus
I spent the summer of 2012 in the Revell lab at UMass Boston through an NSF REU program. I assisted PhD student Kristin Winchell in examining population genetic structure and morphology of populations of Anolis cristatellus in forested areas and in urban habitats. The lizards are highly abundant in both habitats, but the urban areas present a significantly different environment in terms of thermal qualities, perch availability, and predator dynamics. We found that Anolis lizards in urban areas are adapting to these different pressures, and are doing so quite rapidly. The research was published in Evolution (2016) - check it out here.