My teaching interests are grounded in the ecology and the evolutionary basis of life on earth. I have previously taught courses on animal behavior and scientific writing, with a focus on fundamental ecological principles and biological concepts. I am currently teaching Introductory Biology (BI 204-206) for Ecampus students and Ecology (BI 370) on campus.
In terms of my research background, I'm trained as a behavioral ecologist and primatologist. My dissertation research focused on the links between foraging strategies, feeding competition, and female dominance relationships in wild western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). My fieldwork was conducted at the Mondika Research Center in the Republic of Congo over a 19-month period. To understand whether high-ranking females achieved higher energy intake than low-ranking females, I conducted nutritional analyses of gorilla dietary items at the Nutritional Ecology lab at Harvard University. My research also revealed that the staple diet of western gorillas contains more fruit, higher fiber content, and increased concentrations of non-structural (i.e. easily-assimilated energy) compared to that of mountain gorillas. Please see my personal website for a list of my publications and conference presentations.