The overarching goal of research in my lab is to develop a synthetic understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive evolution along geographic and climatic gradients through time. This work integrates population genetic, phylogeographic, phylogenetic, and morphological approaches to address fundamental questions regarding the distribution and maintenance of biodiversity.
I am currently recruiting graduate students, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Current projects in my lab include:
Montane biogeography and genomic divergence
Understanding the role that intrinsic biological characteristics, historical factors, and chance play in determining the diversification within and between species is critical to understanding and predicting species responses to climate change. One aspect of work in my lab focuses on montane systems, and using genomic methods to examine the role of historical and ecological factors in structuring mammalian biodiversity in those habitats.
Ecogeographic variation and short-term responses to climate change
One of the exciting new avenues of research in museum collections involves investigating short-term population responses over decadal timescales. Tending to be distributional, phenological, or phenotypic in nature, these responses can be revealing with respect to the potential for phenotypic plasticity and/or rapid adaptive change within a population. This work incorporates resurveys of historically-documented mammal populations and using quantitative tests of morphological shifts and associated genomic backgrounds to understand phenotypic responses and population shifts in response to climate change.
Community responses to acute environmental change
A newer project my lab has become involved in over the last few years involves fire ecology over a 28-year interval in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Initially begun after the record-breaking 1988 fire season, this collaborative project focuses on how and why communities shift during succession. A recent (2016) fire on our study grids provides an additional perspective, as we now have ecological data and vouchered specimens from before and after this dramatic ecological event. This allows us to look at not only community composition and species interactions during succession, but the evolutionary ecological implications of this strong environmental stressor.