My Research

I am interested in the evolution and diversity of soil invertebrates, particularly harvestmen (Opiliones) and velvet worms (Onychophora). These are ancient, poorly dispersing terrestrial animals that live in dark, humid habitats around the world. I use genetic and genomic tools paired with comparative morphology to study their taxonomy, systematics, and biogeographic patterns in the southern hemisphere – landmasses which once comprised the supercontinent Gondwana. Currently, I’m studying the global biogeographic patterns of the phylum Onychophora, the mite harvestman family Pettalidae (Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi), and the armored harvestman family Triaenonychidae (Opiliones: Laniatores). I am also working on the phylogeography and species delimitation of the New Zealand velvet worm Peripatoides (Peripatopsidae) and the Brazilian armored harvestman Pseudopucrolia (Laniatores: Gonyleptidae).

Previously, I worked on the taxonomy, molecular phylogeny, and biogeography of mite harvestmen (Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi) in Australia's Wet Tropics region with Professor Sarah Boyer at Macalester College. I also worked as a laboratory technician at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in the Laboratories of Analytical Biology and the Scanning Electron Microscopy lab.