For the most up-to-date information on what my lab is up to, please see our website.
I received my Ph.D. in June 2009 from the Ohio State University Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. My dissertation focused on habitat fragmentation, functional landscape connectivity, and metapopulation processes in amphibians. I analyzed microsatellite data from marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum) from 21 sites in southeastern Ohio; collaborations with Jennifer Purrenhage, Wesley Savage, and Kelly Zamudio allowed me to analyze genetic data from spotted salamanders (A. maculatum) and blue-spotted salamanders (A. laterale) as well. My results showed that agriculture was the land-cover type most strongly associated with genetic isolation in these salamanders. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models including agriculture, forest, geographic isolation, and pond size described 30-70% of the variation in local isolation across datasets (see Conservation Biology and Biological Conservation papers here). I then examined the relationship between landscape and local persistence in a metapopulation framework (see Animal Conservation paper here).
Following graduate school, I spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in conservation genetics, funded by ODNR Division of Wildlife and working with Lisle Gibbs. I worked on genetic identification of unisexual (all female) Ambystoma salamanders in order to map their distribution in Ohio.
In Fall 2010 I joined the Department of Biology at Eastern Michigan University, where I continue to investigate the fitness consequences and conservation implications of this unique mode of reproduction. My current field site is the University of Michigan's Edwin S. George Reserve, where I sample salamanders using a drift fence and pitfall trap array initially installed by Mike Benard for his work with wood frogs. Graduate students in my lab have also pursued conservation genetics projects involving other herpetofauna, such as mudpuppies and red-eared slider turtles.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
441 Mark Jefferson
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197