Assistant Professor of Biology
Courses: Human Anatomy (Bio 290)
As a herpetologist, educator, and anatomist, my interests cover a broad spectrum of topics including biodiversity, conservation, science education, morphology (anatomy), and systematics. I am particularly interested in the morphology of adult and larval amphibians, and understanding relationships within species complexes. Understanding phylogenetic relationships based on molecular and morphological data sets provides a starting point for addressing questions related to topics such as systematics and taxonomy, development, functional morphology, and character evolution. Past work has focused on the systematics of a diverse complex of SE Asian frogs, detecting the chytrid fungus in Thailand, and examining changes in biodiversity through time at a historically significant sites in SE Asia and North America. I am currently working on projects dealing with the taxonomy of frogs in the Limnonectes kuhlii complex, functional morphology of the fanged frogs (Genus Limnonectes), larval morphology and the evolution of larval anuran characters. The overarching goal of my research efforts is to make practical contributions towards conservation efforts and an understanding of biodiversity in regions where diversity is both underestimated and threatened by environmental and anthropogenic factors.
At JMU our human anatomy program is one of our strengths. The combination of a cadaver-based program and a cohort of excellent anatomy faculty opens many opportunities for students interested in pursuing research related to vertebrate anatomy (human and otherwise) and anatomy instruction.
I welcome inquiries from potential master's students with interests that are complementary to my own and for which I can provide suitable mentorship.