I have been a Professor in the Department of Biology at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts since Spring 2003.  I received a BA in Biology (’92) from Colorado College and MS (’97) and PhD (’00) degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona.  My postdoctoral research was in collaboration with Dr. Pam Diggle in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

My research interests are in the ecology and evolution of plant reproductive systems. Particularly, two features that promote outbreeding in plants: the evolution of separate (as opposed to combined) sexes and the evolution of physiological mechanisms to prevent self-fertilization. I am also interested in the changes that accompany transitions in sexual strategies, such as the evolution of floral sexual dimorphism or the temporal/spatial segregation of gender function in flowers.

Much of my research is focused on the plant genus Lycium (Solanaceae). Lycium presents a terrific opportunity to study reproductive evolution in plants as species vary both in the deployment of sexual function (i.e., some species are hermaphroditic, whereas others have separate sexes), and also in the presence of genetically controlled self-incompatibility systems.

I live and work in Amherst with my partner Rachel and we travel (as frequently as possible) often as part of our NSF funded research on Lycium.  We have been truly lucky to have seen some fabulous places and plants.  Check out the life-list plant Welwitschia in Namibia (below @ left), the marine iguana cruising by Lycium minimum in the Galapagos, and scaling fences/looking for Lycium in the Cape region of South Africa.