I earned a B.S. in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2004 and recently earned my PhD in the Aquatic Ecology at Kent State University. My research interests integrate freshwater community and ecosystem ecology by examining community-level effects on decomposition dynamics in aquatic systems. Part of my dissertation research focused on the role of crayfish as shredders in stream detrital dynamics. Stream-dwelling crayfish can be an important shredder in temperate-forested streams, and I have examined how crayfish processing of leaf species of different food-quality can influence food quality of the resulting fine particulate organic matter. More recently, I investigated competitive interactions between floating-mat wetland macrophytes and macrophyte decomposition in a seasonally dry, tropical wetland at Parque Nacional Palo Verde, Costa Rica.
I have various taxonomic interests – from aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates, to herptofauna – and I have integrated these interests into my research by investigating the roles these various community members have in decomposition and how they are affected by decomposition dynamics themselves. Much of the photography and posts presented on this blog reflect my interests in ecology/biology.
I also have interests in mathematical modelling and ecological statistics. I have experience with most popular statistical packages, but I prefer the R Statistical Package, given that it is free and there are several GUIs available for it (e.g., R Commander). I am primarily self-taught in biostatistics and R (although I did have a biostatistics course that sparked my interests, and a encouragement from my dissertation advisor), and you will find some blocks of script and plots within the posts on this website.
I currently hold an Instructor position at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, where I teach majors’ and non-majors’ courses and labs in biology, including Principles of Biology II, and Concepts of Biology, which I developed as an online lecture. I will also teach a special topics course on field methods in coastal wetlands.
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My CV is available upon request.