My research involves multimodal sexual selection, acoustic divergence, and speciation. For my PhD, I studied barn swallows in North America, Europe, and Asia to quantify variation in feather ornaments and song resulting from different targets of sexual selection across populations. My current work, in the labs of Drs. Dai Shizuka and Eileen Hebets at the University of Nebraska, will determine which acoustic and visual signals predict success in competitive versus mating contexts across different species of Schizocosa wolf spiders. We are employing network methods to visualize and analyze the complex phenotypic data generated from these studies.
- My paper "Divergent sexual selection explains phenotypic differentiation among closely related barn swallow populations" accepted at Journal of Evolutionary Biology! (With no changes requested, whaaat?!)
- Our paper "Genome-wide differentiation in closely related populations: the roles of selection and geographic isolation" and my photo make the cover of this month's issue of Molecular Ecology!
- SciComm 2016 Registration is Open! Come to Nebraska Sep 23-24 to share ideas, take part in science outreach, & forge new collaborations!
- Our first Numbat Media project, 'Pygids,' won the Arachnology Film Competition!
- Paper on genomic differentiation & adaptation in barn swallows available for early view at Mol Ecol
- My music video project w/ Tyler Corey, 'Pygids,' won the 6th Annual Evolution Film Fest! Woohoo! And we get a really cool trophy with Darwin's head on it!
May 19, 2016
- Paper with Maren Vitousek on physiological underpinnings of divergent sexual signals in barn swallows out at Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
March 7, 2016
- Our ProcB paper on phenotype networks is highlighted in new paper from Hebets et al!
Feb 16, 2016
- Numbat Media is up! This is a collaborative project I've just started that aims to grow a large public audience for biology outreach through fun multimedia content. Give me a shout if you'd like to contribute!
Dec 3, 2015
- Videos are up for SciComm 2015! Check em out. I recommend starting with Julia McQuillan's talk on the leaky STEM pipeline.
Oct 4, 2015
- It's finally here! SciComm 2015: A symposium on effective science communication--an event I organized through Biological Sciences and the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center. A unique gathering of communicators from around Nebraska and Colorado!
Oct 2, 2015
- My article on multimodal signalling in barn swallows now posted at ProcB!!
Sep 3, 2015
- My paper "Multimodal signaling in the North American barn swallow: A phenotype network approach" was just accepted at Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences!! This is the first empirical chapter to come from my PhD research--it's been a long road, but I'm super proud of the manuscript my coauthors and I put together!
Aug 6, 2015
- Just got back from the first OTS course on Science Communication at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica! Check out our film, print, and radio projects here (click the menu button at upper right for the other projects): https://goo.gl/kTDhR6
May 15, 2015
- I've been selected to present in the Warder Clyde Allee Competition at the Animal Behaviour Society Meeting in Anchorage!
March 26, 2015
- Spider trials are done! I recorded competitive and mating interactions for 50 sets of spiders of both species of wolf spiders we captured in Florida! Now...to analyze the data!
January 8, 2015
- I returned from a sampling trip with other Hebets Lab members, along with ~400 individuals for both Schizocosa floridana and S. crassipes. I'll be raising these little guys to maturity in order to run experiments to determine which traits are important for predicting competitive vs mating success.
November 4, 2014
- I just created a store at Society Six for some of my photos! You can get prints, mugs, shirts, laptop covers etc.
September 24, 2014
- I will present my work on multimodal sexual signaling in North American barn swallows at the AOU/COS/SCO Joint Ornithological Conference at Estes Park: Session C15B, Wed 10am, at Longs Peak-Granite Pass
June 22, 2014
- I will be presenting my work on contributions of intra- and intersexual selection to signal evolution in North American barn swallows at the Evolution Meeting in Durham, NC.
June 6, 2014
- I was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I will begin this post in August to study the evolution of sexual signaling in Schizocosa wolf spiders with Drs. Dai Shizuka and Eileen Hebets!
May 8, 2014
- I was hooded by my advisor at the graduation ceremony. Yeah!
April 14, 2014
- I defended my dissertation today. I'm now pretty much a doctor (barring a little paperwork). Woot!
May 16, 2013
- Our field season website is up! Check it out at barnswallowproject.com
May 15, 2013
- Dr. Liz Scordato and I just arrived in Moscow, Russia! We will be doing a transect across Siberia for the next 2 1/2 months, taking blood, morphological and feather samples, as well as song recordings from three different barn swallow species (Hirundo rustica rustica, H. r. tytleri, and H. r. gutturalis).
Mar 30, 2013
- I will be presenting a talk at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, hosted at home by CU Boulder July 28-August 1.
Feb 20, 2013
- I will be presenting my recent work on multimodal signaling in barn swallow sexual selection and communication at the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium at Colorado State.
Nov 9, 2012
- My first dissertation chapter, "Evolutionary divergence in acoustic signals: causes and consequences" is now online at Trends in Ecology and Evolution.