Ph.D. Biology, University of Pennsylvania, 1996 Concentration: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Dissertation Title: Phylogeny and evolution of the avian family Ciconiidae, the storks
B.A. Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1984 (magna cum laude)
My research has focused on applying genetic data to elucidate the evolutionary history of populations and species. I have worked on a diverse array of organisms, including several groups of birds, viruses, and cetaceans (currently). Projects have included the following: comparing mitochondrial DNA sequences and DNA-DNA hybridization data in inferring a phylogeny for stork species (avian family Ciconiidae); using mitochondrial sequence data to understand relationships among species in the avian family Paridae (titmice and chickadees) and to identify cryptic species within the group; extracting DNA from bones and museum study skins to determine the origins of a group of extinct, flightless rails in the Hawaiian islands; and applying metagenomic methods and next-generation sequencing to search for novel viruses in human and animal stool samples.
2005-2010 – staff scientist, Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
2001-2005 – laboratory manager, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
1997-2001 – postdoctoral fellow, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
1996-1997 – postdoctoral fellow, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark