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About me

I'm currently an NSF postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University studying the evolution of musculoskeletal systems. More specifically, I'm interested in the biomechanical principles governing how organisms produce motion and how these principles have influenced the evolution and diversification of vertebrate musculoskeletal systems. I address these questions by integrating in vivo experimentation, morphological surveys of natural history specimens, and biomechanical modeling. My research also includes developing open-source software for shape data collection, computational modeling and web-based visualization.

I completed my PhD with Mark Westneat at the University of Chicago. For my PhD I studied the evolution of feeding in the bird order Anseriformes (waterfowl), integrating ecological data from the literature, morphological data from natural history collections, and functional predictions based on biomechanical modeling, particularly cranial kinesis. As a postdoctoral fellow I am working with Beth Brainerd at Brown University to combine in vivo kinematics collected using XROMM, biomechanical modeling, and collections-based approaches to understand how the biomechanics of suction feeding has influenced the diversification of body forms in ray-finned fishes. As a part of this project, Beth Brainerd, Ariel Camp, and I recently published a paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology on a linkage that helps drive mouth expansion in the largemouth bass; this work was featured by the New York Times ScienceTake.