University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, Biological Sciences, PhD, 2015
State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY- Environmental and Forest Biology, MS 2008
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC- Botany, BS 2004
My dissertation research focuses on patterns of genomic diversity at multiple spatial scales and how range expansions structure this diversity. Specifically, I have three projects observing American black bear (Ursus americanus) genetic diversity. The first project is a non-invasive genetic mark-recapture study to estimate the population size and dispersal ecology of Missouri‘s bear population. The second project focuses on levels of migration and admixture in Midwestern bear populations. The third project will observe genomic diversity across the black bear range and specifically asks how range expansion from Pleistocene refugia structured contemporary genomic diversity.
Downstream applications of my work will include maps/algorithms for identifying the natal populations of individuals, as well as putatively illegal trade products. Beyond the development of these techniques, my research seeks to develop cost-effective methods of implementation to enable their broad application to many species of conservation concern. I am also interested in spatial statistics, non-invasive sampling, and environmental and conservation policy.