I come to Emory & Henry by way of Boston, Massachusetts! My research interests focus on small mammal & amphibian systematics and evolutionary biogeography. In particular, glacial relic communities of high altitude montane spruce-fir forests in the southern Appalachians, and coastal island populations of the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritimes. 

     My current research in the area of southwest Virginia revolves around vertebrate community evolutionary biogeography of montane small mammals and salamanders. My students are conducting small mammal and salamander surveys on montane "habitat islands" to investigate differences among mountaintop populations along the Appalachian chain, and historical post-glacial colonization and dispersal. I plan to continue my coastal island work in southern New England (Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket), Maine (Mt. Dessert Island, Deer Island), and the Canadian Maritimes (Grand Manan Island, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, and Prince Edward Island) during the summer months.

     I have been teaching and working with undergraduate students for 21 years. Here at Emory & Henry, I'm teaching General Biology, Organismal Biology, Human Anatomy, Vertebrate Zoology, and Tropical Biology. Undergraduate students in my lab are working on the following projects:


Current UG Student Research Projects:

Erin M. Kirk: "Phylogeography of Montane Salamanders in Southwest Virginia: A Mitochondrial Analysis." (2015-2017)

Taylor F. Richardson: "Taxonomic Status of the Monomoy Island Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus ammodytes)." (2016-2018)

Taylor Blevins: "Systematics of the Nantucket Island Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus fusus) (2016-2018)                 

Allison Singleton: "Mitochondrial Biogeography of Montane Lepidoptera of the Shenandoah Valley and Whitetop Mountain, southwest Virginia (2016-2018)." (2016-2017)

Brandon Gearhart: "Epithelial Mucosal Swabbing of Frogs (Ranidae) as an Indicator of Bovine Fecal Coliform Contamination of Aquatic Habitats in Southwest Virginia." (2016-2017)

Casey Chaplin: "Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Gut Flora of a Community of Domesticated Livestock in Southwest Virginia " (2016-2017)

Emily Welch:"Impacts of Pesticides and Biosolids on Lumbricus terrestris" (2016-2017)

Kayla Wright: "Association of Duration and Dosage of Antibiotics on the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli" (2016-2017)

Thomas Wolfe: "Barn Owl Pellets as an Indicator of Small Mammal Community Structure in eastern Tennessee: A Composite Skeletal and Mitochondrial Analysis." (Honor’s Project 2016-2017)


Previous UG Student Projects:

Erin M. Kirk: "Epithelial Body Swabbing as a Non-Invasive Method for DNA Sampling of Salamanders." (2015-2016)

Anna M. Green: "Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Gut Flora (Enterobacteriaceae) in a Community of Stabled Horses (Equus caballus): Implications for Community Acquired Drug Resistance." (2015-2016)

Keri Roberts: "Initial Assessment of Phylogeny and Historical Biogeography of Plethodontid Salamanders: A Mitochondrial Data Mining and Approach Using Cytochrome b." (2015-2016)



Educational Background

Ph.D. Biology (2005) Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts-Systematics & Phylogeography of Insular White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in northeastern North America.

M.Sc. Biology/Zoology (1997) Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts-Fossil Reptiles and Amphibians from the late Paleocene Bison Basin, Wyoming.

B.A. Biology/Marine Science (1991) Boston University