I am currently working as a Junior Specialist in the Wainwright Lab at the University of California, Davis. My research focuses on comparative functional morphology in plankton-eating surgeonfish (think Dory from Finding Nemo). While most surgeonfishes only eat algae, plankton feeding has evolved at least four independent times within the family. This represents four large evolutionary leaps in behavior, ecology, and morphology from tearing large pieces of algae off rocks to picking nearly transparent, drifting critters out of the water column. Using surgeonfishes as a case study, I am hoping to determine the traits under selection in these lineages, thereby identifying which characters are responsible for optimizing planktivory.
As of this coming fall (2015), I am happy to report that I will be continuing with the Wainwright Lab as I enter the Ecology Ph.D program at UC Davis!