Current research

Gene flow in Michigan’s invasive Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Native to the Mississippi River drainage and the Gulf Coast, the Red Swamp Crayfish was first discovered in Michigan in 2017.  Since then, they have spread to over 30 bodies of water across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.  We are interested in identifying gene flow among these populations as well as any barriers to gene flow to help inform management.  Additionally, we are looking to answer questions of basic reproductive ecology, such as the frequency of multiple paternity, using genomic data.  This work is a collaboration with Brain Roth’s lab and Michigan DNR.

Avian responses to human mediated landscapes

Hermit thrush, bird with tan head, white belly with brown speckles, standing on a tree branch
Hermit Thrush

Genomic basis behind 40-years of morphological change in Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Warming temperatures have been associated with decreased body size and increased wing length across 52 North American migratory bird species over the past 40 years (Weeks et al., 2019 Ecol. Lett.).  We are interested in 1) finding regions in the genome associated with body size and 2) seeing if allele frequency changes in those genomic regions match the observed changes in morphology.  As a pilot study we are using Hermit Thrush, after which we will examine if genomic changes are congruent across taxa.  This project is in collaboration with Rachael Bay, Brian Weeks, Tiffany Dias, Kristen Ruegg, Ben Winger, and the Field Museum.