Education

  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of Georgia (Genetics/Ecology)
  • Ph.D. University of Toronto (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
  • B.S. University of Texas at Austin (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior)

Areas of Expertise

  • Plant Biology
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Environmental Change

Background

I am an evolutionary ecologist who studies the processes that promote or constrain adaptive evolution in plant systems, often in the context of informing conservation management plans. Owing to their sessile nature, plants have evolved a diverse array of strategies to thrive under challenging, variable, and unpredictable environmental conditions. A fundamental understanding of the processes that enable plants to establish and proliferate can help us predict how local adaptation arises and is maintained. In my lab and classroom, I offer students a welcoming and inclusive environment in which to acquire knowledge through study, practice, discussion, and, above all, questioning.

Research

My research program tests theoretical predictions in ecology and evolutionary biology by integrating field-based and greenhouse experiments with laboratory and analytical techniques. Students in my lab conduct experiments to test how natural selection, gene flow, phenotypic and transgenerational plasticity, and changing environmental conditions act to influence local adaptation in plants. We use the insights gained from these studies to assess how to successfully implement conservation management plans, including assisted migration and assisted gene flow.

Teaching

  • BIO 114 Integrated Concepts in Biology II (with lab)
  • BIO 240: Biostatistics for Life Scientists
  • BIO 263: Evolutionary Ecology
  • BIO 320: Plant Adaptations (with lab)

Davidson News

Davidson College completed greenhouse

With the addition of the Pat Peroni Greenhouse, Davidson College students and faculty will be able to cultivate exciting teaching and research opportunities. Learn more.

floating biological chromosomes with one open section showing DNA sample

Find out how a Davidson College biology professor is collaborating with colleagues to open up the English-dominated field of modern science to the Navajo community.