Advisor: Jennifer Fewell
I am a Biology Ph.D. student in Jennifer Fewell's lab. While still exploring potential directions for my dissertation research, I am generally interested in the behavioral ecology and evolution of social insects. Social insects are an excellent model system for studying the evolution of sociality because they exhibit a wide range of social organizations, are ecologically dominant, and are easy to manipulate. I am particularly intrigued by multiple mating, cooperative colony foundation, division of labor, and transitions in social evolution.
During my first year of graduate school, I have collected preliminary data on division of labor during colony foundation in the leafcutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor and collaborated with Drs. Jčrgen Gadau and Bob Johnson on a sociogenetic analysis of queen dimorphism and mating behavior in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex (Ephebomyrmex) pima.
I completed a B.S. in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where I investigated amphibian community ecology (Advisor: Dr. Jim Petranka) and katydid bioacoustics (Advisor: Dr. Tim Forrest). I then collaborated with Drs. Blaine Cole and Diane Wiernasz of the University of Houston on the sociobiology of the harvester ant P. occidentalis. I also enjoy teaching and intend to pursue an academic career that balances research and teaching.