I have broad interests in the ecology and conservation biology of land snails, freshwater macroinvertebrates and algae. Here are my main current areas of research:
Land snails. Land snails have more endemic and rare species in Oklahoma than any other group of plants or animals, yet very little has been done besides scattered surveys. Current research includes urban snail ecology, the effects of fires on land snails, and dietary overlap of co-occurring species. Land snail research is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Effects of disturbance on freshwater macroinvertebrates and algae. Disturbances in streams include floods scraping by grazers during feeding, and effects of aerial exposure; all of which result in mortality of stream organisms. Most of my disturbance work is done with algae (especially diatom-dominated communities) and uses a combination of field and laboratory experiments to investigate substrate roughness as a disturbance refuge.
Invertebrate surveys. As part of my position at the Oklahoma Biological Survey, my lab is involved in surveys of aquatic (and some terrestrial) invertebrates in Oklahoma. For example, we have surveyed crayfish throughout Oklahoma and are currently surveying caddisflies. I am interested in pursuing ecological spin-off projects from these surveys.
Undergraduate research and internships. I welcome Honors researchers, independent study students, and interns in conservation biology in my lab. Projects are jointly selected, according to the interests of the students. Research on land snails is encouraged, but other projects are possible. Examples of recent projects include toxicity of cigarette butts to snails, compilation of county distribution records (an internship project) and a survey of bumble bees across the state. Undergraduates have been senior authors or co-authors on publications.
Graduate research. Graduate students in my laboratory choose their own projects that may or may not be related to ongoing research projects. Examples of recent graduate research include: the ecology of aquatic insects in playa wetlands, and studies of algal-aquatic plant and algal-animal associations, and the biology of an endemic land snail. Graduate students can be in Biology, EEB, or Plant Biology programs.