I joined the faculty of Louisiana State University in August 2011. An empirical biologist at heart, I develop, test, and apply statistical methods for inferring and using phylogenies. I have used these methods to address important biological questions including identification of the earliest diverging lineage of extant ants, the use of phylogenies as forensic tools in cases of HIV transmission, the phylogenetic placement of turtles & relationships among major groups of amphibians, and investigation of the evolutionary forces that drive changes in genome size. Much of my work currently focuses on the development of (primarily Bayesian) statistical approaches for inferring evolutionary history from genomic data. The lab also has ongoing projects on phylogenetic forensic investigations using nearly complete HIV genomes, the adaptation of phylogenetic approaches to understand cancerous tumor evolution, and the development of approaches for extracting meaningful information from large collections of phylogenetic trees.
I also contribute regularly to the TreeThinkers blog, an online forum for news and thoughts on applied phylogenetic research.
I had the good fortune of working in the lab of Butch Brodie while I was an undergraduate Beckman Scholar at Indiana University. I earned my Ph.D. under the supervision of David Hillis at the University of Texas at Austin, where I was a Donald D. Harrington Fellow and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. I then moved to the University of California at Berkeley, where I was an NSF Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of John Huelsenbeck and the Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics.
While in Berkeley, John recruited me to join his band.
When I'm not in the lab you can find me playing soccer, running, eating delicious Cajun food, or hanging out with lab mascot and budding biologist, Gabe Brown (pictured at left).
My wife has graciously agreed to maintain my lab's website. Please notify her if you notice broken links, missing pages, etc. She may or may not fix them
Here we are enjoying a Mardi Gras parade, a wonderful Gulf Coast tradition. Mardi Gras in South Louisiana is a lot of fun, but as a native of Mobile, AL, she is always quick to point out that Mardi Gras celebrations in the US have their roots in Mobile 15 years before New Orleans was founded.