Living in Texas most of my life I have had an opportunity to become acquainted with the diverse herpetofauna of the state, for which I have developed an endless curiosity. After receiving my BS in biology at the University of Texas at Arlington, I decided to pursue research studying microhabitat preferences of squamate reptile assemblages in both Texas and Kansas. I received my MS in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2007 with the thesis, "Monte Carlo Analysis of Refuge Site Selection: Statistical Properties and an Empirical Example" supervised by Dr. Daniel Formanowicz. While working on my masters degree I took several statistical and mathematics classes that inspired me to include quantitative methods in my research program. I started my PhD studies at Indiana University in 2007 with supervisor Dr. David Polly where I am pursuing a double major in the Department of Geological Sciences and in the Department of Biology. My dissertation research topics will broadly include quantitative methods for studying evolutionary paleontology, phylogenetic comparative methods, morphologic variation in species, both spatially and temporally, and assessing the effects of climate and climate change on species distributions and morphology. I am very thankful to be selected as the award recipient for the Estes Memorial Grant. The grant will support a project focused on identifying evolutionary patterns of sexual dimorphism from both neontological and paleontological evidence.
Photo courtesy of A. Michelle Lawing.