I'm currently an Assistant Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. I have done postdocs at Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College (on fossil mammal-line reptiles), Harvard (on mammal limb evolution), and at UMass-Amherst (on bat cranial evolution and ecology). The broad connection in my research is the study of the evolution of morphology and its relationship with rates of morphological evolution. My current research ranges across vertebrate groups, from alligators to birds to salamanders to mammals. I have also worked extensively on fossil birds and dinosaurs.
Diffuse Contrast-Enhanced Iodine Staining
Junior Research Fellow (Univ. of Oxford)
2018 - 2019
I worked as a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford. The goal of my current project is to quantify the tempo and evolutionary trends of the postcranium in mammal-line reptiles and archosaurs to understand (1) how the appendicular skeleton was impacted by mass extinctions and (2) how it may have played a role in radiations into new regions of ecospace.
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology (Harvard Univ.)
2016 - 2018
My recent work is based on the research grant I was awarded through the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) program. I am broadly studying forelimb evolution in both mammals and birds through external shape geometry (measured with three-dimensional geometric morphometrics) and internal shape geometry (measured using cross-sectional geometry analyses). Specifically, I am examining clades that have evolved into niches requiring a reworking of their forelimbs for unique ecologies (e.g. bats, moles, etc.). The goal is to better understand whether new forelimb morphology is linked to adaptive radiations of forms and whether rates of increased morphological evolution is coupled or decoupled from significant rates of speciation. These data are also critical for evaluating evolutionary change in fossil mammals with respect to locomotor functional morphology.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Univ. of Massachusetts – Amherst)
2015 - 2016
As a member of the Dumont lab, I worked on the connection between bat ecology, sensory structure morphometry, and skull shape in phyllostomid bats (New World Leaf-Nosed bats).
University of Pennsylvania - Earth and Environmental Science, Ph.D.
2010 - 2015
My dissertation research was focused on the application of modern techniques to the basal horned dinosaur, Psittacosaurus. Psittacosaurus is known from more than one hundred complete specimens and provides the opportunity to learn more about dinosaurs than ever before by placing questions in a quantitative, statistical framework. This is of primary interest as the majority of named dinosaur species are based on single specimens, which greatly limits the number of questions that can be asked using statistical methods. These techniques include 2D and 3D geometric morphometrics, fluctuating asymmetry analyses for quantification of taphonomic distortion, bone histology, sedimentary petrography, and X-ray diffraction.
Emory University - Biology/ Environmental Science BS
I did a double major in biology and environmental science as an undergrad with a focus on evolutionary biology. I worked with Dr. Tony Martin on a project summarizing the feather evolution in the Mesozoic and worked in the De Roode lab on the evolution of parasite virulence using Monarch butterflies and the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha as a model system. I also had the opportunity to travel extensively through study abroad programs studying in Japan, Italy, France, and China.