I am a behavioral ecologist fascinated by how behavioral and morphological variation is generated and maintained in the face of selection. I have studied variation across taxa and levels of selection, from individual differences in singing behavior of male Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) to the proximate and ultimate causes of within-colony worker size variation in bumble bees (Bombus impatiens). I have examined the question of why variation exists both empirically and theoretically. I was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to work with Dr. Sandra Rehan to investigate the environmental causes of recent decreases in animal body size using museum collections of the small carpenter bee (Ceratina calcarata) and testing if these changes are genetic.
For my PhD, I worked with Dr. Anna Dornhaus in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Arizona. My PhD thesis focused on the evolutionary consequence of worker size variation in the bumble bee (Bombus impatiens), in particular how this variation influences colony behavior and performance.