Welcome! I am a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Dan Rabosky at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. I am broadly interested in ecology, evolution, and conservation of biodiversity. My current research seeks to understand how amphibian and reptile communities are structured across habitats and elevations, and to examine the links between species’ ecological traits and phylogenetic relatedness. Focusing on natural populations distributed in the Andes-Amazon region of South America, my collaborators and I use a combination of data including species’ life history traits and DNA sequences, as well as phylogenetic comparative analyses, to infer patterns of community assembly and niche evolution across habitats and elevations. If you would like to get in touch, please send a message to rvonmay at umich.edu
In addition to my postdoc work, I have had the opportunity to contribute in several conservation and education initiatives such as species conservation assessments for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and as a member of the Amphibian Red List Authority. Recently, two colleagues and I created SelvasTropicales.org, a website that provides open-access content from Selvas Tropicales, a book about tropical rainforests we published in 2013. The book is written in Spanish and is especially useful for Spanish-speaking youth or Spanish-learners who are also interested in tropical rainforests. A new edition was published by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research in 2015, and it includes updated contents and a foreword by Dr. John Terborgh (Center for Tropical Conservation, Duke University); 1,000 copies were printed by ACEER and are being distributed in Peru through their Amigos! education and outreach program. Thus far, SelvasTropicales.org has had more than 45,000 visitors and, according to Google Analytics, most sessions originated from countries located in the Americas (a session is the time period a user is actively engaged with the website; a summary of the total number of sessions and users for countries with 1000+ sessions is shown here).
Recent press coverage of research:
Study focusing on biodiversity and conservation value of regenerating rainforest (Scientific American)
See additional media coverage here