University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Contribute to our future
Office: SCA 128
Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, 2016 M.S., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, 2013 M.P.H., Epidemiology, Yale University, 2010 M.B.A., Technology, Yale University, 2010 B.A. (Honors), Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley, 2003 B.A., Art Practice, UC Berkeley, 2003
From Archaeopteryx to Zika, my research interests primarily involve dinosaurs and diseases. My work is fundamentally interdisciplinary and digital, fostered through a dual appointment at the Center for Virtualization & Applied Spatial Technologies (CVAST). Pedagogical activities include integrating research into educational tools and science outreach, and utilizing next-generation 3D platforms (virtual reality, interactive holograms).
My paleontology research focuses on bringing dinosaurs “back to life” by scientifically reconstructing skeletons, motion, and original coloration. Approaches combine exceptionally-preserved fossils and state-of-the-art technologies, from high-resolution X-ray imaging to Maya animation software. Generally, I’m interested in the structural and functional changes that occurred during major transitions. In particular, my research involves the evolution of flying dinosaurs, with an emphasis on the iconic “missing link,” Archaeopteryx. Other lines of investigation include joint functional morphology and evolutionary biomechanics, pursued through an integration of in vivo experiments, in silico modeling, and novel comparative approaches among living and extinct animals. My research also includes the emerging field of paleocolor: elucidating the original colors of fossilized feathers and skin, using new imaging and molecular techniques. Such results reveal not only what ancient creatures once looked like, they also provide insights into their evolutionary history and behavior.
My epidemiology research focuses on the surveillance and control of mosquito-borne diseases, particularly the flaviviruses Zika, dengue, and West Nile. Given that there are no cures or vaccines available, prevention and mosquito abatement are the only solutions for containing outbreaks. With that goal, my work involves leveraging technologies like GIS and the DYCAST early warning system as powerful tools for fighting disease – frompredicting epidemics to the strategic targeting of control efforts.
Paleontology, Functional Morphology, Epidemiology