Welcome to my website!
I grew up in Anchorage, spent summers commercial fishing in Prince William Sound, and found my way into fisheries science by counting salmon for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Bristol Bay. I received both my master’s and doctorate from Oregon State University; my masters from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and my doctorate from Department of Integrative Biology.
My research combines evolutionary theory, quantitative methods, and field studies to answer questions about why fish do what they do, and how they may adapt to future conditions. Although I have primarily focused on fish ecology and evolution, my research applies broadly to the study of evolution and its connections with ecology.
Please see my CV for more information.
My current research program was spawned (pun intended) from a single interesting fish species known by two names. Steelhead and rainbow trout are two names for the same species: a salmonid known as Oncorhynchus mykiss. Steelhead are born in streams, migrate to the ocean as juveniles, and return to spawn in streams. They are big, silvery, and look like a salmon. Rainbow trout are also born in streams, but remain there for their entire life cycle. They are small, camouflaged, and do not look like a salmon. Yet, from observations and genetics, we know steelhead and rainbow trout mate with one another and can produce some offspring that migrate (i.e., become a steelhead) and others that remain in the stream (i.e., become a rainbow trout).
I wanted to know why do they do this.
It turns out that steelhead and rainbow trout are not that unique. There are an impressive number of species in which migratory and resident types coexist. Other fish species, as well as ungulates, bats, birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles all have species with migrant and resident types coexisting. (You can learn more about them here).
The diversity of species that contain migrants and residents makes the question of why all the more interesting. My research has focused on different aspects of this question, and you can find descriptions of that research below.
Click the boxes to learn more
What characteristics are associated with migration and which with residency?
How does natural selection maintain both migrants and residents? And, more generally, how does natural selection maintain life history variability?
Sex-ratio balancing: A method for estimating the fraction of migrants and residents
Two-sex life cycle model
I would be happy to hear from you!