Ph.D. University of Maryland, 2010
B.S. The College of William and Mary, 2003
I am broadly interested in evolution and behavioral ecology, with a major focus on sexual selection. For my doctoral dissertation, I studied satin bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) in Australia. Males of this species have one of the most behaviorally complex sexual displays in the animal world, constructing arenas out of sticks that are completed with feathers, flowers, snail shells and other natural objects as decorations. They dance, vocally mimic other species of birds, and watch closely female behavior to ensure they are not too aggressive for her tastes while showing off their physical vigor. I found that males who performed better on a number of cognitive tasks including solving novel problems were sexually preferred by females (basically smart is sexy!) and males may indicate their cognitive ability through their complex displays (single traits do not indicate cognitive ability well).
I am now a postdoctoral associate studying sexual selection in three-spine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus spp ) a system that is exciting because there have been multiple parallel episodes of speciation in a short period of time. I hope to study a whole host of interesting new questions with this species complex, but also to continue investigating the relationship between cognition and sexual selection. This system is especially exciting because it should allow me an opportunity to explore cognition in both males and females.
B.S. University of New Hampshire, 2010
In Fall 2012, I started pursuing a dual PhD in Zoology and Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. I am broadly interested in animal behavior the context of sexual selection and speciation. More specifically, I am interested in reproductive behavior, including mate choice, parental care behavior, and parent-offspring conflict. In particular, I am currently focusing my attention towards research involving parental care in threespine sticklebacks, including investigating under what conditions care is important, when parents may be released from care, and how sexual selection may have influenced the evolution and persistence of care behavior by male sticklebacks.
B.S. University of California-Riverside, 2011
I entered MSU in 2012, pursuing a PhD in Zoology. My scientific interests fall broadly under the heading of sensory ecology, exploring how animals gather information on the world around them, and why their abilities to do so are so different from our own. I am currently interested in study multimodal behaviors in the mating repertoire of sticklebacks: How do different senses modify information obtained from other modalities? How important are these interactions in making decisions, and how plastic are they? How strongly does environmental variation shape such behaviors? Is there a real evolutionary advantage to multimodal processing? Does multimodal behavior in sticklebacks mean anything to multimodal functioning in humans? These are the questions...
B.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010
I started graduate school at MSU in Fall of 2010 to pursue joint PhDs in Zoology and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology. I study stickleback communication and sexual selection. In particular, I am interested in how females make mating decisions, and what impact those decisions have on sticklebacks as a model of evolution and speciation. I seek to understand what factors and modes of communication allow for decision-making, and what results when normally-available factors, such as visual cues, are lost. How do females weight certain male factors (size, coloration, parental ability, etc.)? How robust are these mate decisions under different cue availability? How general are they across individuals and populations? Are these factors genetically or behaviorally-determined, or a mix? I hope to unravel some of these mysteries.
Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010
B.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000
Assistant Professor, University of Denver
Ph.D. University of California-Riverside, 2008
B.S. University of Portland, 2002
Ph.D. University of New South Wales, 2005
B.S. Australian National University, 2001
Ph.D. Indiana University, 2008
B.A. Grinnell College, 2001
Postdoctoral Researcher, Murray State University
Ph.D. Michigan State University, 2013
B.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 2010
NSF Predoctoral Fellow 2005-2008
University Fellow 2004-2005
B.S. Cornell University, 2004
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 2011
M.S. University of Wisconsin, 2006
B.S. Washington University 2003
NSF Pre doctoral Fellow 2004-2007
M.S. University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2007
B.A. The College of Wooster, 2004