I earned a B.S. in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2004 and earned my Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology at Kent State University in 2013.  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.  Additionally, 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.

Most of my current research is done while acting as a research mentor with NAPIRE and LSAMP-REU with the Organization for Tropical Studies at the Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica. Mentor projects vary, but are ususually focused on crab and fish ecology and behavior.

I have various taxonomic interests – from aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates, to herptofauna – and I have integrated these interests into my research by investigating the interplay of these community members and plant decomposition dynamics.  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 have formed and continued several professional relationships by consulting in biostatistics.

I currently hold an Lecturer position at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah, Georgia, where I teach majors’ and non-majors’ courses and labs in biology, including Principles of Biology II, Concepts of Biology, and Environmental Biology. I have also developed several online courses and a special topics course on field methods in coastal wetlands.

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My CV is available upon request.