Welcome

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology & Microbiome Research at the University of Oklahoma and a Research Associate at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. My work is at the intersection of conservation, ecology, and paleontology.

In February 2021, I will join Middlebury College as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies!

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Genomes, bones, and sediments hold clues to how organisms responded to changes in the past. I apply a diverse methodological toolkit to reconstruct the ecological histories of presently threatened species and the ecosystems in which they live, and place these results in a conservation context.

I employ toolkits that can accommodate data from fossil, historic, and modern specimens, such as stable isotopes, DNA, morphology, and species distribution models. I conduct fieldwork that includes both excavations of Pleistocene/Holocene sediments and non-invasive surveys of extant mammals. Natural history collections provide invaluable contributions to my research.

Current projects include:

  • Historical ecology of California Channel Islands vertebrates
  • Historical responses of red foxes to urbanization in Hokkaido, Japan
  • Stable isotope analysis of California’s last grizzly bears with the California Grizzly Research Network
  • Paleoecological reconstructions of a 50,000 year old woodrat midden
  • Ecology and conservation of the Hispaniolan Solenodon
  • Extinction dynamics of Caribbean mammals
  • Developing interdisciplinary partnerships for conservation paleobiology

I strive to include stakeholders, students, and conservation professionals from local communities wherever possible at all stages of my research.

News:

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I am honored to be featured in Dr. Eugenia Gold‘s new children’s book, “She Found Fossils”, which can be purchased on Amazon in English and Spanish!

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My two recent publications were reported by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

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I am honored to be an invited speaker for the University Michigan’s 16th Annual Early Career Scientists Symposium: Natural History Collections: Drivers of Innovation.

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August 2019: We had an awesome first BREAS meeting, with participants from the US, Venezuela, and Trinidad!

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I was thrilled to participate in the National Geographic-Fulbright “Sciencetelling” workshop in July 2019 at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC.

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Thanks to all who participated in our workshop and attended our public lecture series!

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Check out my blog feature on the Biodiversity Heritage Library user stories: “A Window into the Past, Present, and Future of Caribbean Mammals

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April 2019: We had our first meeting of our Pursuit: “The death and life of biodiversity: modeling extinction and resilience on islands”

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Our high school researchers participated in the Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair. Great work!


Why Insectivora.org?

A) Insectivores are amazing and I like to study them!

B) My last name is tricky to spell.