My research focus involves the assembly and curation of genetic resource collections, involving everything from fieldwork methodologies to bioinformatics approaches. With the window of sampling opportunity closing for much of the World’s biodiversity, the global DNA Barcoding initiative offers an outstanding opportunity to compile a well-characterized genetic resource collection of immense scope. My work involves raising the standards of, and disseminating relevant information on, how we sample biodiversity with an eye toward future genetic and genomic research. It is imperative that we maintain as much evidentiary value in our collections as possible and frozen tissue collections are a critical component of this mandate. High-quality specimen collections are essential for not only DNA barcoding and taxonomy, but also for more applied disciplines such as epidemiology and environmental toxicology. This makes my research focus multidisciplinary and collaborations with interested researchers and students are always sought. I am particularly interested in the development of molecular diagnostic tools for species identification and applications of those tools to questions involving biodiversity conservation and forensics. On a more philosophical level, I am interested in solving taxonomic problems, such as delimiting species boundaries, with phylogenetic solutions derived from the integration of multiple independent data sets (i.e. a total evidence approach). A thorough integration of behavioral, physiological, anatomical and genetic information provides an holistic approach toward the study of organismal evolution.
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