Research

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Idaho in the lab of Luke Harmon. The central focus of my research program is understanding how microevolutionary processes scale across space and time to result in macroevolutionary patterns. I address this question by a combination of methods development, simulation studies and empirical studies using data across micro and macroevolutionary scales. I believe synthesizing data from microevolutionary, paleontological and phylogenetic comparative studies into a cohesive framework will lead to important insights and spur novel research directions. Furthermore, understanding when and why adaptation succeeds or fails over long evolutionary time-scales is of central importance to maintaining earth's biodiversity in a changing world.

I take both a "bottom up" approach by using the tools of quantitative and population genetic theory, and a "top down" approach using phylogenetic comparative and paleontological models of evolution to achieve this synthesis. These approaches are united by framing evolution in terms of adaptive landscapes. In quantitative genetic and population genetic approaches, such landscapes are generally assumed to be static in time and across populations, while phylogenetic comparative methods describe the dynamic movement of adaptive landscapes over millenia. Providing theory and tools to make inference and predictions of the dynamics of adaptive landscapes should be a central goal of 21st century biology.