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I am a second-year Master's student in the Geology Department at the University of Kansas. My research at KU focuses on macroevolutionary patterns and the influence of the environment on the history of life, using spiders as model organisms. My current research involves two separate but related studies: the first attempts to discern how certain arachnid lineages arrived in the West Indies (i.e., through dispersal, vicariance, or a landbridge). The origin of the West Indian biota is currently receiving a good deal of attention, even though it has been vigorously debated over the past 20 years. The second part of my Master's project uses Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) to ascertain the factors that determine where the Brown Recluse spider lives today and where it may live in the future under different climate change models. In addition to these projects, I describe and study fossil spiders preserved in amber, illuminating the paleobiogeographical patterns of certain arachnid groups.

My broad research interests are in biogeography, phylogenetics, arachnology, and macroevolution.