RESEARCH INTERESTS & BACKGROUND:
I received a B. S. from the University of the South in May, 2016. While at Sewanee, examined occupancy patterns of stream salamander communities of the southern Cumberland Plateau. Out of this work we have been able to describe occupancy patterns, patterns in body conditions across the landscape, and help expand the range of the Cumberland dusky salamander (Desmognathus abditus), a species of interest in that region.
My research interests broadly include landscape patterns in species distribution and abundance, ecosystem function, and conservation biology. I have applied single species and multi-species occupancy and abundance models to investigate how landscape variation effects salamander populations, with particular interest in how variation in species responses relates to species life-history. Additionally, I have applied similar models to inform research and management of salamander and turtle communities in Tennessee.
My current work is focused on identifying the ecological role of black bellied salamanders (Desmognathus quadramaculatus) in nutrient dynamics of Appalachian headwaters. This research has focused on estimating biomass and nutrient excretion using novel modeling approaches and evaluating diet using stable isotope mixing models. While this work is still ongoing, initial evidence suggests that black-bellied salamanders have a significant role in N and P cycling with headwaters, and that the majority of nutrients recycled by adults are derived from terrestrial habitat.