Mountainsnails Form and Evolution
Application: Oreohelix from the lower Salmon River [LSR] drainage form one of the most diverse assemblages of land snails in the Pacific Northwest and continental United States. There are at least fourteen known undescribed species restricted to islands of limestone, marble, and dolomite that are pervasive throughout the LSR. I, and a host of undergraduates from the Parent lab, are spearheading a survey for new species in the LSR with the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Fish and Wildlife, and the Nez Pierce Forestry service. Our goal is to provide well-supported species delimitation for conservation management officials and to investigate how the remarkable present species and phenotypic diversity arose through a morphometric and phylogenetic approach.
Research: Oreohelix evolve ornaments repeatedly across mountain ranges in response to the same common ecological factor (coming soon to a journal near you or email me). I am assembling a genome and performing genomic scans with RADseq to determine the underlying genetic basis of ornamentation evolution in this group. Within the context of ornamentation evolution, there are few projects that are not quite ready to be put up on this site but stay tuned for more.
Ornamentation Evolution across mollusks
Research: Many of the patterns and restrictions we observe with ornaments in Oreohelix (coming soon to a journal near you) appear to be generalizable across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial mollusks. I use a bunch of machine learning approaches to evaluate these patterns and diagnose ornamentation.