Welcome to the lab website! My lab has diverse research interests including species distributions, complex phenotypes, comparative transcriptomics, and the effects of climate change using ectotherms (frogs and lizards) as models. These are divided into four main foci: (1) Phenotypic adaptations and genomic basis of anti-predator defense mechanisms such as the aposematic syndrome and its consequences on phenotype (e.g., sexual dimorphism, amphibian alkaloid metabolism, systems biology); (2) Quantification and prediction of extinction risks and ecophysiological impacts of rapid climate changes in ectotherms; (3) Neotropical biogeography and past/future predictions of amphibian/reptile species distributions in this region; and (4) Systematics, taxonomy, and natural history of New World herpetofauna. To adress these questions, the lab uses both bioinformatics and molecular tools that include the development and application of phylogenetic comparative methods, GIS species distribution modeling, NGS data generation and mining, and implementation of multivariate statistical algorithms (both exploratory and confirmatory) with the goal of characterizing and connecting underlying evolutionary and ecological patterns.

New graduate students: I am looking for PhD and MS students with interests in the goals of the lab. Particularly, I am looking for applicants with a background in evolutionary ecology and strong interests in Neotropical amphibians and/or lizards. I expect that all new graduate students are willing to learn NGS molecular techniques, multivariate statistics and programming (particularly in R, python and perl). My lab works with diverse research groups, which also requires good communication skills, initiative and abilities to work independently and as a team. For information on how to apply to the PhD and MS programs in Biological Sciences at SJU, please see the following SJU link and contact me by e-mail.