Research Professional I
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
(803) 725-7283 office
Born in Bakersfield, California, I spent the first eight years of my childhood chasing side-blotched lizards and playing with toads in the desert foothills. It was soon after moving to the Kneeknocker Swamp of Brantley County Georgia, that my eyes were opened to the vast diversity of life in the wet woods of the southeast, especially the reptiles and amphibians. During my undergraduate years at the University of Georgia, I further expanded my outdoor experiences by traveling to the Republic of Panama, where I fell into four summers of amazing fieldwork in Central America that later helped me to develop my Masters thesis topic. My M.S. work focused on the ecology and movements of pond-breeding hylids but my interests were further expanded by friends working on topics are varied as insect-plant interactions, the physics of gliding ants, monkey social communities, and felid-rodent interactions as a driver of forest composition. Additional field projects that I have tinkered with include studying the movements of spectacled caiman, American crocodiles and American alligators, the ecology of terrestrial and arboreal colubrids, and assisting with monitoring Diamondback terrapin populations on the coast of Georgia. With such a broad range of field experiences, I often find it difficult to define my interests into the narrow pigeon holes of modern science, but if I must I would list the concepts of migration and movement, complementary habitat requirements, niche partitioning, predator-prey-interactions, habitat restoration, sustainable development and resource utilization, public education and the broad idea of international wildlife conservation. I am currently assisting on several SREL projects, including research on accumulation of metals in long-lived reptiles, gopher tortoise repatriation at Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve, habitat selection of gopher frogs, and a variety of other herp-related projects.