PhD: 2015 - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
BS: 2004 - Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA
I am researching the evolution and functional morphology of the trap-jaw ant genera Anochetus and Odontomachus. The mandibles of these ants snap shut at some of the fastest speeds ever recorded for an animal movement and are used for prey capture, nest defense, and can even be snapped against the ground to escape from predators. I am using phylogenetic comparative methods to understand how the trap-jaw morphology has evolved and how it has affected patterns of species diversity in this group.