Research Areas

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I examine the diversity of colors found in nature, to explore how selection has shaped animal coloration. I use comparative analysis, field and lab experimentation, and intraspecific museum-based studies to address these questions. These colors may serve as signals for animals, and can also inform us to about evolutionary patterns and how animals are responding to a changing world.

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My interest in coloration is rivaled by my curiosity for the natural history of animals. There is still a great deal we do not understand about parental care and avian life history. I explore a variety of these topics with comparative analyses. These curiosities about the natural world spawned the fields of evolution, ecology, and animal behavior, and are fundamental for our continued advancement of science.
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As with any job, to understand natural variation in animal coloration, it is necessary to have the right set of tools. I examine techniques that can be used to overcome the challenges of working with color data and speciose datasets. Here I post my solutions to these challenges, providing R and ImageJ codes whenever possible. Some of these techniques are still under development so I encourage any feedback you may have.

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I currently teach Introductory Biology and Ecology, and have taught Animal Communication, Ornithology, Animal Behavior, and Behavioral Ecology. My courses provide students with the opportunity to collect primary data and become directly engaged in the scientific process. from developing hypotheses through the peer review process. I utilize a range of active teaching methods that provide students with current, exciting, and informative lessons.

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