I am an Assistant Professor of Zoo and Conservation Science in the Department of Biology and Earth Science at Otterbein University, where I lead the PAL (Primates in Anthropogenic Landscapes) Lab. Because primate development tends to be slow and responsive, human activities such as pesticide use, domestic animal farming, logging, and crop-planting exert subtle influences on development with severe consequences that are only evident in late life. My lab investigates how specific anthropogenic (human-mediated) forces impact primate species and age/sex classes differently. We mainly approach this problem with molecular (DNA/RNA) and remote sensing (camera traps) tools while focusing on the most plastic stages of a primate’s life history: late gestation, weaning, and puberty. We also investigate the late-life consequences of environmental disturbances during those sensitive periods.
I completed a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology at Indiana University, where I focused on chimpanzee health and conservation genetics at Toro-Semiki Wildlife Reserve in Uganda. At the end of my Ph.D., I also managed the IU Primate Environmental Endocrinology Lab's field operations at Kibale National Park in Uganda. After that, I completed a postdoc in the Sensory Morphology and Genomic Anthropology Lab at Boston University and a stint as a Visiting Scientist in the Genetics Department at South Africa's National Zoo. At Otterbein University, I teach undergraduate classes in the Zoo and Conservation Science Practicum sequence such as Wildlife Rehabilitation, Zoo Management, and Conservation Education. I also teach Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology, Conservation Biology, and Animal Reproduction.