I am interested in how organisms perceive their environment and how this varies
across species. I plan on combining chemical ecology, molecular evolution of
gene families, and behavioral work to examine the function and evolution of
taste and smell in birds. In collaboration with Prof. Gaby Nevitt and Dr. Terry
O'Dwyer at UC Davis I am investigating intraspecific chemical signals and potential
receptors in Leach's Storm Petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) . I am also very interested in avian taste
receptors and have begun work on both molecular and behavioral aspects of taste
in hummingbirds and emus.
After graduating from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2005, I
worked at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany on a project on wing
morphology and migration in subpopulations of the Common Stonechat with Dr.
Barbara Helm, and helped as a field assistant in Panama on a project of Dr. Emily DuVal (now at Florida State University) on Lance-tailed Manakins (Chiroxiphia lanceolata). I then worked in the lab of Dr. Mitchell
Baker at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) studying pesticideresistance and mating
behavior in the Colorado Potato Beetle, as well as trends in vertebrate
dispersal patterns. I joined the Edwards lab in 2007.