Department of Biology
Students interested in research opportunities in my lab are encouraged to contact me.
Amphibians are one of the most imperiled groups of animals, and many amphibian population declines appear to reflect complex interactions among disease, compromised habitat, environmental contaminants, and climate change. We are particularly interested in how anthropogenic habitat modification affects amphibian populations. Virtually all habitats on Earth have been impacted by humans, making it essential to understand the challenges facing populations in human-altered environments.
Males in many species have evolved conspicuous signals used in mate attraction, and females in some species have evolved to prefer more elaborate signals. Why? One possibility is that these sexually-selected signals reflect genetic variation in male quality. My previous work with gray tree frogs (Hyla versicolor and H. chrysoscelis) shows that preferred signals indicate high genetic quality, translating into enhanced offspring performance.
We are currently exploring the inheritance of these signals, their correlations with other traits, and what limits further evolution of mating signals and mate preferences.