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I conduct research in behavior, ecology, evolution, and genetics of free-living animals. I am interested in the ways that ecology and behavior affect evolutionary processes and genetic structure in natural populations. I am currently investigating the genetic structure of populations of Mexican jays, communally nesting birds that live on “sky island” in Arizona and northern Mexico. I use several molecular genetic techniques, including allozymes and microsatellite DNA to assess genetic structure.
I am also using molecular genetic techniques to examine the genetic relationships among populations of freshwater mussels, a group of animals that has suffered large-scale population declines in recent years. I am using mitochondrial DNA sequence variation to study differences among populations of Higgins’ Eye Pearlymussel, Lampsilis higginsii, an Endangered Species that occurs in the Upper Mississippi River. Go to my Research page to learn more about these projects.
I teach courses in animal behavior and ecology and evolutionary biology. Go to my Teaching page for more information about these courses.