I am broadly interested in adaptation and speciation processes in mammals. For my post-doc research I am investigating the genetic basis of phenotypic divergence between two ecologically divergent tree squirrels (Tamiasciurus douglasii and T. hudsonicus). These closely related species meet each other and form two narrow hybrid zones in the Pacific Northwest of North America. These two species differ from one another in several ecologically important traits, including fur coloration and cranial shape that is associated with bite force. I will be using admixture mapping approaches to learn about the genetic architecture of these ecologically important traits, as well as to examine genome-wide patterns of divergence and introgression across two different hybrid zones that differ in environmental gradation.
My current research is an extension of my PhD work where I studied the evolutionary history of Tamiasciurus and examined the association between environmental gradients and phenotypic variation in several ecologically important traits both within and between species.
University of Washington, Ph.D. in Biology, 2013
Advisor: Jim Kenagy
Utah State University, M.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology, 2001
Advisor: Eric Gese
University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Integrative Biology, 1996