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Biography

I teach organismal biology courses, mentor students and conduct primary research on vertebrate behavior. As an integrative biologist I am interested in understanding how animals conduct their lives in their intimate natural environments. My students and I investigate how hormones and the brain generate variation in behavior and we connect this variation to fitness consequences in the wild. We are currently focused on understanding the mechanistic basis for differences within- and among-individuals. We study variation and covariation at these two levels and use sexual behavior, coping behavior and (neuro)endocrine traits as the phenotypic characters of interest. Wild songbirds and frogs serve as our study systems.

When I’m not in the lab or outdoors, you can find me experimenting in my kitchen.

Academic Positions

Education

  • Ph.D. 2009

    Neuroscience

    University of Texas at Austin

  • B.S. 2002

    Biology

    University of Utah

Awards

  • 2016
    NSF MRI #1626008: Development of an observatory for quantitative analysis of collective behavior in animals. Collaborator (PI: Marc Schmidt, UPenn) $339,174
  • 2016
    James A. Michener Faculty Fellowship Swarthmore College, $81,500
  • 2011
    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Post-doctoral Research Funding, €82,800
  • 2010
    Max Planck Society International Post-doctoral Research Funding, €27,600
  • 2009
    Animal Behavior Society Travel Grant, $1000
  • 2009
    NSF Travel Grant, $1000
  • 2009
    Animal Behavior Society Travel Grant, $500
  • 2009
    Animal Behavior Society Allee Best Student Presentation, Honorable Mention
  • 2009
    University of Texas Center for Perceptual Systems Travel Grant, $1000
  • 2008
    University of Texas Homer Lindsey Bruce Endowed Fellowship, $20,600
  • 2007
    University of Texas Center for Perceptual Systems Travel Grant, $1000
  • 2007
    Animal Behavior Society Research Grant, $500
  • 2007
    University of Texas Professional Development Award, $1000
  • 2004
    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service (NIH) in Neurobiology, $22,750
  • 2004
    University of Texas Dean’s Excellence Award, $1000
  • 2004
    NSF Graduate Fellowship Program Honorable Mention
  • 2002
    Magna cum laude | University of Utah
  • 2002
    University of Utah Biology Undergraduate Research Program Grant, $1000
  • 2002
    University of Utah Senate Research Grant, $2500
  • 2002
    Packard Foundation Research Grant, $1000
  • 2002
    Bamfield Marine Station (Canada) Academic Merit Scholarship, $1500
  • 1997
    University of Utah Biology Department Seville Flowers Fellowship (declined)
  • 1997
    University of Utah Achievement Scholarship $1000
  • 1997
    Utah Creditors Association Merit Scholarship $1000