Research & Scholarly Interests
Broadly speaking, I am interested in mammalogy, conservation biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics of particular interest include: the conservation of endangered and threatened mammals worldwide, and the effects of habitat fragmentation, logging, and biological corridors on mammal community structure and overall biodiversity in forested habitats.
Previous work in my lab focused on the conservation of the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel (DFS). Specifically, we worked with Mike Scott (in Geography) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a project attempting to identify potential DFS habitat on the lower eastern shore of Maryland. We used aerial LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data collected by the state of Maryland to locate and map all tall, mature forests on the lower shore. We then visited select sites to measure key characteristics of forest structure to assess their potential as DFS habitat. Our data indicate aerial LiDAR measures of canopy height and cover (two key characteristics of fox squirrel habitat) are significantly correlated with field measures of these two variables. These findings suggest this technique can be a useful preliminary tool for locating DFS habitat.
Beginning in the summer of 2008, my lab began conducting research on the distribution of mammalian carnivores on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset counties). Three species in particular (bobcats, mink, and long-tailed weasels) are in serious decline in the region and may now be extirpated. We are using game cameras in combination with trackplate boxes and scent stations to identify any remaining populations of these and other carnivorans on the lower shore.
Mammalogy (Biol 305)
Anatomy & Physiology I (Biol 215)
Biology of the Vertebrates (Biol 320)
Comparative Anatomy (Biol 313)