Research

Stochastic processes, mathematical biology, evolutionary theory (especially the levels of selection problem), community assembly, co-evolution and the evolution of virulence. My favorite study systems are the human microbiome, human financial markets, social media, and more. 

EDUCATION

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Community Assembly & Stochasticity

Neutral Theory, stabilizing mechanisms and how they operate in stochastic environments. 

2005-2010

University of New Mexico

Bachelors degrees in Applied Math & Biology.

Phylogenetic factorization

Most datasets are described using the elementary basis - variables correspond to observations on the tips of the phylogeny.

I recently developed a method that allows researchers to describe their data in terms of variables corresponding to differential abundances along edges of the tree. "Phylofactorization" is a matrix factorization and constrained factor analysis where "factors" are putative functional ecological traits that arose along an edge in the tree. There's an R package on github and a tutorial

2010-2015

Princeton University

Ph.D. in Quantitative and Computational Biology

view thesis here

2015-2017

Duke University

Post-doctoral research with Diana Nemergut

2017-present

Montana State University

Research Scientist with Raina Plowright

Patterns of Pathogen Spillover

Which pathogens spillover, which non-human reservoirs do they tend to come from, and how can we combine information at multiple scales ranging from reservoir ecology to human behavior for honest assessments of spillover risk?