About Me

I have been interested in the natural world, and our interactions with it, from a young age, growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia, where I caught tadpoles in ditches around my neighbourhood, and became concerned about the environmental influence of humans on these urban habitats.  After starting to learn the scientific process through participating in high school science fairs, I attended the University of Northern British Columbia, where I completed a BSc. degree in 2010, double-majoring in Biology and Natural Resources Management: Wildlife & Fisheries. Attending a small university focussed on undergraduate education was incredibly formative for me, and has shaped my career interests ever since. Dr. Staffan Lindgren’s Invertebrate Zoology class sparked my interest in entomology, and during my time at UNBC, I gained formative research experience working in Dr. Brian Aukema’s lab (now at University of Minnesota) on forest insects, and with Dr. Saphida Migabo and Mark Thompson on salamander antipredator behaviour.

My undergraduate research brought me to Professor Edmund D. Brodie, Jr.’s lab at Utah State University, where I completed my PhD in Ecology with him and Dr. Susannah French in 2015.  My PhD research centred on the evolutionary and physiological tolerance of amphibians to natural and anthropogenic salinization, a topic I continue to be interested in to this day (see Research and Publications for more information).

I then completed a Research Fellowship in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, funded by an Australian Research Council grant obtained by Dr. Therésa Jones (University of Melbourne), Professor Mark Elgar (University of Melbourne), Professor Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter), and Professor Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology).  My research in Australia focusesed on the behavioural, ecological, and evolutionary consequences of artificial light at night on invertebrates (see Research), where I worked from the behavioural responses of individual crickets to the ecological responses of whole invertebrate communities.

I am now an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Western Oregon University where I teach courses in entomology, animal behaviour, vertebrate natural history, introductory biology, and the analysis of biological data, and actively work with undergraduate students in various research projects ranging from the invertebrate community ecology of oak ecosystems to turtle conservation and the tracking of invasive species. I am particularly passionate about the integration of teaching and research, and love introducing students to the research process.

Outside of academia, I am a busy Dad to a 4 year-old, and enjoy spending as much time outside with her, exploring nature. I also have a love for classical music, jazz, and theatre, and enjoy cooking, gardening, playing the piano, and hiking.