Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska (2013) – with Varanus komodoensis

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley working to better understand the distribution and ecology of the threatened Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis). Though I have moved from Washington, DC, I remain a Research Collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. There, I was investigating the prevalence of a recently described algae-mediated shell disease in kinosternid turtles.

Broadly, I am interested in how biotic and abiotic stressors (i.e., predators, pathogens, contaminants, and environmental variables) affect both individuals and populations. I approach questions concerning the ecology of stressors in an organismal context by incorporating various fields, including behavioral ecology, stress and environmental physiology, ecotoxicology, and disease ecology, all with the goal of conservation of both species and habitat. My research has primarily involved amphibians and reptiles as focal taxa, and I have used both laboratory and field experiments to answer these research questions.