I am a fourth-year graduate student (expected graduation, May 2018) in Michael Donoghue‘s lab in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department at Yale University. I’m broadly interested in fruit evolution, and how fruit traits (especially fruit color) relate to the dispersers that consume those fruits. Fruit colors have long been thought to primarily serve the purpose of attracting animal dispersers, yet much of the research into selection on color by animals has yielded inconsistent or weak results. To better understand the diversity of fruit colors that exist today, in my dissertation I am describing spatial patterns in fruit color, looking at correlated trait evolution between colors and associated traits, and studying a case of the origin of a novel fruit color in Viburnum. By taking several different perspectives in understanding the distribution, maintenance, and origin of diverse fruit colors, I hope to further our understanding of plant-animal interactions and how they vary across space and time.
I am also involved with several ongoing projects on tropical phenology in Madagascar’s fruit and frugivore communities; you can read more about those here. As a graduate student at Yale, I have had the opportunity to serve as a teaching fellow for several courses. I am also a bit of an amateur photographer, and have begun a database of photos of fruits across the color spectrum. A downloadable copy of my CV is available here.