Dissertation Research

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Mammalian FauNAL dynamics

I am working with collaborators to understand fine details of the mammalian biotic recovery following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event in northeastern Montana.

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species discrimination in the fossil record

Using geometric morphometrics and linear measurements, I worked with my advisor to elucidate the morphological differences among members of a Cretaceous-Paleogene multituberculate species complex (Mesodma), and make the best of a fossil record made mostly of isolated teeth.

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Mammalian dental ecomorphology

I am using µCT scans of mammalian teeth to relate dental surface morphology in earliest Paleocene mammals to dietary preference, via quantitative comparison with the teeth of modern mammals with known diet.

Other mammalogy activities and fieldwork

A female Carollia sowelli with leucistic spots along her belly and wings that we captured two years in a row at the same locality in La Selva!

A female Carollia sowelli with leucistic spots along her belly and wings that we captured two years in a row at the same locality in La Selva!

Baird's beaked whale salvage, Washington, 2015; I'm in the middle in the yellow jacket.

Baird's beaked whale salvage, Washington, 2015; I'm in the middle in the yellow jacket.

Burke Museum Extant Mammal Prep work

I have been a volunteer in the Burke Museum's mammalogy collections for nearly four years. My work as a volunteer has consisted of extant specimen prep, including construction of museum taxidermy skins, tissue and fecal pellet collection, skinning and cleaning small to large zoo specimens (tree shrew through gorilla), and joining the mammalogy team for specimen salvage in the field. I have also learned techniques for skeletal mounts and live mount taxidermy of small- to medium-sized taxa..

Phyllostomid Bats in La Selva, Costa Rica

During two field seasons, I assisted with collection of tissue and fecal samples, ectoparasites, echolocation call data, and behavioral data on a variety of phyllostomid bats in La Selva, Costa Rica. Leith Leiser-Miller and Dr. Sharlene Santana were kind enough to allow me to assist with their work on the coevolution of the phyllostomid genus Carollia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the plant genus Piper. Learn more about that project here.

A study skin of Glaucomys sabrinus that I prepared in 2015.

A study skin of Glaucomys sabrinus that I prepared in 2015.