Department of Biology
Pennebaker Hall (PENN) 315
I am a vertebrate physiological ecologist interested in how the environment influences reproduction and development. The goal of my research is to understand how environmental factors alter fitness-relevant phenotypes across multiple life stages. I focus on the embryonic stage and incorporate studies of reproduction (adults) and early life (neonates) to understand the causes and effects of patterns of embryo development. This research is timely because humans are rapidly changing habitats on a global scale and embryo development is particularly sensitive to disturbance. I use reptiles and amphibians as model species because most exhibit little parental care, leaving embryos to develop under a broad range of environmental conditions. As such, their embryos exhibit interesting adaptations to thermal and hydric variation but are also threatened by rapid environmental changes caused by global change.