Research

The focus of my research is in biodiversity genomics, and I am interested in understanding the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in natural populations, and across evolutionary timescales. This encompasses field and collections based studies of reptile and amphibian systems in ecosystems spanning tropical forests in Southeast Asia and Mexico, and deserts in western North America. In these systems, I work on quantifying biodiversity in biological communities and identifying how it is shaped by evolutionary processes. Because much of my research relies on the use of genomic data, I am also interested in how well statistical phylogenetic and population genetic models fit empirical datasets, and identifying the ways in which we can improve them to make the inferences we draw under them more reliable. 

As an organismal and field biologist, I am deeply interested in natural history and applications of my research to conservation biology. My background includes work in wildlife and conservation biology with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, and U.C. Davis. My current research is focused on elucidating patterns of hybridization and diversification in whiptail lizards in order to develop a framework for understanding sex evolution and the impact of gene flow on speciation in this system.

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