Welcome to my site! I am an evolutionary biologist broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of adaptive radiation. I use large-scale field experiments, genomics, genetic mapping, behavioral experiments, and comparative methods to dissect this process at various stages. I am developing two tropical field systems for studying the origins of adaptive radiation: 1) Caribbean pupfishes which exhibit remarkably localized radiations confined to a single Bahamian island and a single Yucatan lake, and 2) Cameroon crater lake cichlids, famous as putative examples of sympatric speciation. I have also previously worked on the ecology and behavior of Lake Malawi cichlids, Trinidadian guppies, and stream fish diversity in the Peruvian Amazon.

Common themes in my work include 1) the origins of adaptive radiation, 2) mechanisms driving this process in the context of the adaptive landscape, and 3) the evolution of novelty.

Interested in joining my lab? I am an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If you are intrigued by the speciation process, drawn to tropical field systems, or you have a particular thing about fish, I strongly encourage you to contact me. I am currently accepting new graduate students and our graduate program is described here. For those considering a PhD, I would suggest reading the excellent perspectives here and hereI am also searching for a speciation genomics postdoc to begin this winter/spring. No prior field or fishy experience is necessary, but I am looking for someone with a background in quantitative genetics or population genomics to finish ongoing projects in the lab mapping the genetic basis of adaptive traits in Caribbean pupfishes and Cameroon cichlids. There will also be opportunities to participate in fieldwork in the Bahamas and/or Cameroon if the candidate is interested. 

Academic History:

I was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (2013-2015). My postdoctoral advisors were Erica Bree Rosenblum and Craig Miller. I completed my PhD in Population Biology at the University of California, Davis (2007-2013). My dissertation advisor was Peter Wainwright and committee members were Thomas Schoener, Michael Turelli, and Rick Grosberg. Before grad school, I spent a Fulbright year in Malawi studying cichlids. I completed my B.S. in Biology at Duke University in 2005 and was mentored by Sönke Johnsen, Susan Alberts, Andrew Yang, and Fred Nijhout.

Header Caption: Cyprinodon DESQUAMAToR, a uniquely specialized Scale-eating species within a recent adaptive radiation of pupfishes endemic to San Salvador Island, Bahamas.

Photo © by Tony Terceira .

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