Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology
University of Virginia 2006
BA Biological Sciences
University of Oxford 2001
BIOL 4930 - Senior Seminar "Evolutionary Medicine"
BIOL 4940 - Creative Inquiry "FishShapes: exploring the evolution of body form diversity across fishes"
My research aims to identify repeating themes and general principles governing the evolution of biodiversity. I am interested in how the uneven distribution of ecological, morphological and species diversity has evolved and how it may have been influenced by the biology of the organism and the environment in which it lives. I work at the macro-scale, investigating global patterns over long periods of time across large clades. To enable me to work at this scale I use data and methods from across evolutionary and organismal biology and paleobiology and apply data science techniques, tapping the reserves of scientific data in museum collections, published literature, as well as online databases. Central to my research is the generation and analysis of ecomorphological databases, consisting of linear measurements and geometric morphometric descriptions of shape taken from museum specimens, enabling me to integrate fossil and living diversity. I specialise in the implementation of modern phylogenetic comparative methods in a high performance-computing framework. I am currently leading two major projects, one on teleost fishes and the other on mammals, which together encompass over half of all vertebrate diversity.