I am generally interested in understanding patterns of community composition in dynamic systems for both host and parasite communities. I utilize field-based approaches working with aquatic macroinvertebrates and their many parasites.
As a kid growing up in the swamps of Florida, I spent my summers avoiding gators, catching snakes, and flipping over logs. Those summer days instilled me with a love for nature and all things aquatic. I was able to further explore the field of ecology as an undergraduate at Florida State University working with Dr. Brian Inouye. There, I was exposed to the beautifully chaotic world of fieldwork, where I explored the aquatic invertebrate diversity in Tate’s Hell’s sloughs, reading the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in between samples as I waited out the countless Florida thunderstorms that would pass every hour. After graduating I hopped around from field job to field job before landing a position leading the field crew for Dr. Johnson; there I fell in love with the Oak savanna ecosystem out in California and the hidden world of parasites and disease. After a second season, I was encouraged to join the Johnson Lab as graduate student. From there on out I’ve been working on the impacts of the California drought on niche filter strength and odonate parasite dynamics.
During my free time you can find me avoiding haircuts, running too far into the mountains, climbing mountains, trying to find time to read some fiction, and watching too much baseball. I enjoy a filling curry and a tasty beer.