Hello! I am a biologist interested in evolution, functional morphology, and all things limbless. Right now, I am a PhD candidate in the Garland lab at the University of California, Riverside.
Click here for my CV.
My dissertation focuses on the evolution and biomechanics of specialized locomotion in snakes. The first two chapters examine how morphology relates to locomotion and ecology in a broad evolutionary context. In both, I used phylogenetic comparative methods to analyze the evolution of morphology with respect to specialization for sidewinding locomotion or arboreality, as well as environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature, precipitation). The second half of my dissertation shifts from a big-picture view of morphological differences among species to a more detailed look at biomechanical differences among individuals of the same species. For one project, I spent a summer conducting fieldwork in Arizona, where I collected 3D high-speed video data for sidewinder rattlesnakes ranging from 8 g to 272 g in size to determine how the kinematics of sidewinding scale. For another project, I collected video data for a few locomotor generalist Natricine species to explore individual variation in locomotor behavior and performance of different types of locomotion.