About Me

I am a geneticist in Amy Vandergast's lab with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center in San Diego. I am generally interested in conservation, specifically in utilizing genetic techniques to facilitate the preservation of species diversity. In the past, this interest has led to my involvement in work with a range of organisms, from endangered songbirds to fisheries species. I aspire to continue broadening my exposure to new systems and problems in the future, with the overarching goal of reducing our human footprint on the planet. Some brief descriptions of the projects I'm working on at the moment are below.

Monday, March 26, 2012

California Gnatcatcher

The California Gnatcher is protected by the federal government as a threatened species.  Habitat loss from fire, urbanization, and agriculture has severely reduced populations throughout the bird's range in southern California.  We are studying genetic diversity and population differentiation in the songbird to facility future management efforts.

Coastal Cactus Wren

The Coastal Cactus Wren, a putative subspecies with a range from Orange County south to just across the Mexican border, is protected by the state of California as a species of special concern.  Habitat loss from fire, urbanization, and agriculture have sharply reduced populations throughout its narrow range.  We are studying genetic diversity and population differentiation in the species in hopes of facilitating future management efforts.

Southwest Willow Flycatcher

The Southwest Willow Flycatcher is a federally protected subspecies, with a breeding range limited to the extreme southwestern portion of the US, from southern California to far west Texas.  Habitat loss along waterways have decimated bird populations throughout this range.  In San Diego, only a few dozen birds return from their wintering grounds each year.  We are studying the effects of extreme low population size on genetic diversity over an extended period of time.

California Redlegged Frogs

The California redlegged frog is a threatened species, receiving status protection by the state of California.  Its populations have been severely reduced in southern California, the product of introduced species (eg, bullfrogs), habitat loss, and fire.  We are studying genetic diversity and population differentiation in the species in hopes of facilitating future management efforts.