I am currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at Neumann University. Broadly, I investigate how species are impacted by and respond to global change, including urbanization and invasive species. My current research focuses on how Anolis lizards respond to the challenges of living in urban environments, including the presence of artificial light at night. I also work to increase opportunities for students from groups underrepresented in the biological sciences. To this end, I co-coordinate the Lizards on the Loose outreach project as part of the Fairchild Challenge and work with multiple partners to create opportunities for science communication and citizen science for a diverse set of participants.
Originally from the Philly area, I headed off on the first of several sojourns to the South for my undergraduate studies at Davidson College, where I majored in Biology and Art and received my first taste of real research (with turtles!). I took the long way back to academia, however, with stops along the way to be a mailman, busboy, handyman, ESL teacher, middle school science teacher, AmeriCorps volunteer and field tech. I enrolled at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) in the lab of Dr. Leslie Rissler for my MS in Biological Sciences where I studied invasion dynamics of Cuban treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) and greenhouse frogs (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) in the southeastern U.S. I received my Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University where I studied the adaptive responses of eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) to invasive red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) in Dr. Tracy Langkilde’s lab. I was recently an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with a focus on broadening participation of underrepresented groups and was mentored by Dr. Jason Kolbe and Dr. Bryan Dewsbury at the University of Rhode Island. As part of this work, I partnered with programs at URI to work with a diverse group of K-12 and college students. After finishing my postdoctoral fellowship, I spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Davidson College where I taught introductory biology as well as biostatistics.