Curriculum Vitae

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Postdoc Research
Harvard University
PIs: Sarah Mathews (Australian National University), Levi Yant (Harvard University)

Our research focuses on the tribe Maleae, a diverse clade of ~750 woody plant species that includes apples, pears, and quince genera. The history of this clade includes a whole genome duplication (WGD) in the root lineage, and a rapid radiation associated with evolution of the pome fruit. We are studying the consequences of WGD in this clade by tracking patterns of gene loss and retention following duplication and scanning the genome of a recently evolved tetraploid species. This project is funded by the NSF EAGER program.

PhD research
Boston University
PI: Michael Sorenson

My PhD research focused on the evolutionary history of indigobirds (Vidua spp.), which are obligate brood parasitic finches distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. These parasitic birds display remarkable fidelity to a single host due the effects of imprinting during development. Indigobirds likely speciate by shifting to, and imprinting on, a novel host. However, host shifts imply imperfect host fidelity, and could also result in gene flow among species due to shifts to an occupied host. With fieldwork in Tanzania, we studied behavioral, morphological, and genomic population structure among species in East Africa.

MSc research
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Marjorie Barrack Museum of Natural History
PI: John Klicka

We conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the New World trogons (Genus Trogon), which is a group of 17 avian species that are collectively distributed across the Neotropics. Intensive sampling of all species was used to address intraspecific molecular diversity, character evolution, and geographic patterns in diversification.