Research Interests

I aCover_Behaviourm an organismal biologist whose primary research interest lies at the interface of animal behavioral and evolutionary ecology. I am particularly interested in monitoring the natural behavior of animals, identifying the underlying sources of variation in animal behavior, and understanding how this behavioral variation ultimately affects organismal fitness. My research has largely focused on snakes (one of my favorite groups of animals), and I intend to mostly—but not exclusively—continue working on this group of organisms to ultimately answer questions of broad scientific interest.

Over time I have used various techniques of data collection and analyses in my research, including field monitoring of free-ranging animals (using radio-telemetry and remote video cameras), experimental studies of animal behavior in the field and laboratory, the use of geographic information systems to conduct spatial analyses, and DNA paternity analyses to quantify organismal fitness (in collaboration with Dr. Rulon Clark’s laboratory at San Diego State University for the latter). I believe that integration of these different approaches to conduct research is a powerful way to ask and answer novel questions in behavioral and evolutionary ecology. My research questions have mostly focused on foraging ecology and mating systems—with a particular emphasis on their effects on organismal spatial ecology—, and defensive behavior.