I am interested in population and community ecology, primarily of insects and other invertebrates within the soil. The cryptic nature of the soil environment and the small size of many soil organisms mean that even basic ecological interactions are difficult to study. As such, soil can be difficult to manage and manipulate to ensure proper deliver of ecosystem services. My thesis research will focus on the potential of soil microarthropods such as mites and springtails to reduce the biological control efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes through predation, and how soil biotic and abiotic factors affect predation rates.
Research Interests: I am interested in understanding how new morphological features develop and evolve to create the amazing diversity of forms we see in nature. Variations in morphology during evolution are the result of changes in regulatory programs during development. Thus, I want to focus on gene interactions specifically in the development of wing color patterns of Heliconius butterflies. My work should provide insights to understand what changes in developmental gene regulatory networks contribute to the formation of new phenotypes.