The overarching goal of my research is to understand how genetic changes alter development and drive the evolution of morphology and physiology. We study the Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, a species of fish that consists of river-dwelling forms and eyeless cave-dwelling forms that can be directly compared in the laboratory. In the wild, independently-evolved cavefish populations thrive in perpetual darkness on a diet of bat guano and flood debris. We use comparative genomics, genetic mapping, and gene-editing to investigate how cavefish have adapted to this harsh environment.
- Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara 2013
- B.S. Biology, Westminster College, Utah 2008