We still don’t know how organisms acquire novel traits over the course of evolution. I am interested in using phylogenetic trees to shed light on the transformation of the genetic architectures from one organismal form to another over evolutionary time. I have a background in molecular evolutionary phylogenetics, vertebrate palaeontology , and developmental biology and am interested in improving the accuracy of phylogenetic estimation through (1) more realistic modeling of the molecular evolutionary process and (2) identification of subsets characters that are especially well disposed to tree estimation.
I'm fascinated by the evolution and natural history of marine organisms. My broad research interests include evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation biology, particularly of cartilaginous fishes. I use modern molecular approaches to study diversifying processes, with the ultimate aim of answering fundamental evolutionarily or ecologically centred questions. My PhD research (Macquarie University, Australia) focused on various aspects of the evolution, phylogeography and dispersal of wobbegong sharks (Orectolobiformes: Orectolobidae). More recently I.ve been using satellite tracking and population genetic information to study movement and connectivity in shortfin makos (Isurus oxyrinchus) from the southern hemisphere. My current position allows me to expand taxonomic focus and explore interesting questions across the spectrum of the chondrichthyan Tree of Life, while also learning to apply preeminent techniques and analytical approaches that are pertinent to contemporary evolutionary and ecological genetics.
I am a recent graduate from the College of Charleston where I obtained a BS in Discovery Informatics with a focus on biology. My work in the Naylor lab is focused on segmentation of shark CT scans and assembling a pipeline for next-gen sequencing as part of the Shark Tree of Life project.
I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Marine Biology and minors in Wildlife Conservation Biology and Leadership Studies. I am currently a Master's candidate in the Graduate Program in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston. In the Naylor lab, I am segmenting CT scans of elasmobranchs with the end goal of a morphologically based phylogeny to be compared to the genetic phylogeny developed in the lab. My interests are wide ranging and I hope to learn a variety of techniques during my time in Charleston.
I have a background in marine biology, especially in environmental and molecular biology. I also spent a few years working in herpetology, but ultimately I came back to my passion as a marine biologist. I am currently the Lab Manager for the Naylor Lab.
As part of the CToL project (Chondrichthyan Tree of Life), my research interest focuses on Squaliform or dogfish sharks, a species-rich order of predominantly deep-sea inhabiting sharks comprising fascinating taxa including both the smallest as well as some of the largest shark species. The two only known luminescent shark families Etmopteridae (Lantern Sharks) and Dalatiidae (Kitefin Sharks) are also found within this group. The phylogeny, evolution, and taxonomy of these critters is still poorly understood and one goal of my research is clarifying inter- and intrafamiliar relationships by accomplishing a vast molecular dataset to attain a robust molecular phylogeny, a tree, reflecting those relationships accurately. For this, I am applying next generation gene capture methods targeting sequence information of hundreds of single-copy, protein-coding genes. The data is further useful to identify cryptic diversity and population structure of taxa, delivering useful basic information on distribution, endemism, and taxonomy for successful management and protection plans, not only for the few commercially targeted but also the numerous by-catch species.