Research Themes

I am fascinated by fishes. Whether observing them in the wild, collecting specimens for natural history collections, sequencing DNA from tissue samples, or digitally dissecting three-dimensional µCT scans, my captivation of these animals is grounded in evolutionary thinking. This overarching research question, “what are the relationships among fishes?,” guides the diverse questions I ask, integrative approaches I employ, and is reflected in the research I produce.

Teaching, Mentoring, and Belonging

I strive to make science more approachable and provide all, but especially those from under-represented groups, opportunities to pursue their individual interests. With these opportunities, my goal is to develop interests into passions and career trajectories. I have been lucky enough to play a role in the education of more than 4,000 individuals in introductory-level biology courses and advanced courses in systematics and the history and diversity of life. A few examples of my in-class teaching style can be found on YouTube. As a first-generation academic, I was lucky to have exceptional mentorship from teaching assistants and senior researchers who taught me a great deal both in and out of the classroom. The support and opportunities outside of the classroom were tremendously important for my academics and life afterwards, and I aim to provide similar experiences for students I mentor. I have been fortunate to mentor student researchers at several institutions, with multiple developing into published research articles. Please contact me if you are interested in research opportunities. Explore my CV section for up-to-date information.