About Me

I have been interested in the natural world, and our interactions with it, from a young age, growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia, where I caught tadpoles in ditches around my neighbourhood, and became concerned about the environmental influence of humans on these urban habitats.  After starting to learn the scientific process through participating in high school science fairs, I attended the University of Northern British Columbia, where I completed a BSc. degree in 2010, double-majoring in Biology and Natural Resources Management: Wildlife & Fisheries.  During this time, I gained formative research experience working in Dr. Brian Aukema’s lab (now at University of Minnesota) on forest insects, and with Dr. Saphida Migabo and Mark Thompson on salamander antipredator behaviour.

It was my interest in amphibian antipredator behaviour that brought me to Professor Edmund D. Brodie, Jr.’s lab at Utah State University, where I completed my PhD in Ecology with him and Dr. Susannah French in 2015.  My PhD research centred on the evolutionary and physiological tolerance of amphibians to natural and anthropogenic salinization, a topic I continue to be interested in to this day (see Research and Publications for more information).

I then completed a Research Fellowship in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, funded by an Australian Research Council grant obtained by Dr. Therésa Jones (University of Melbourne), Professor Mark Elgar (University of Melbourne), Professor Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter), and Professor Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology).  My research in Australia focusesed on the behavioural, ecological, and evolutionary consequences of artificial light at night on invertebrates (see Research).

I am now an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Western Oregon University where I teach courses in animal behavior, vertebrate natural history, entomology, introductory biology, and the analysis of biological data, and actively work with undergraduate students in various research projects ranging from turtle conservation to the invertebrate community ecology of oak ecosystems. I am particularly passionate about the integration of teaching and research, and love introducing students to the research process.

thenandnowresearch

The quality of the waders, but not much else, has changed since Grade 8 (left photo, examining the effects of urbanization on life in a ditch), in my quest to understand the wonders of life on Earth, and how we influence its chances of survival (right photo: collecting newts in Oregon, April 2015).