I study how the evolutionary history of species affects, and is affected by, species’ ecological interactions. I tend to enjoy talking about anything involving a phylogeny and/or bio-statistics. I completed my PhD (2009-2012) in Andy Purvis’ lab (Imperial College London), a post-doc with Jeannine Cavender-Bares (2013-2014; University of Minnesota), and then another post-doc from 2015-2016 with Jonathan Davies (McGill University) and Pedro Peres-Neto (UQAM). I’m currently an assistant professor of Biology at Utah State University.
Dan Johnson – post-doc
I am interested broadly in community ecology. I like to leverage large data sets to probe pressing ecological questions and theories. I tend to focus on questions around mechanisms of coexistence, community assembly and factors influencing population and community demography. I completed my PhD in 2013 with Keith Clay at Indiana University, a post-doc with Liza Comita at Yale University, and a post-doc with Nate McDowell at Los Alamos National Laboratory. I am looking forward to exploring species’ ecological interactions and evolutionary history in the Pearse Lab.
Elizabeth Simpson – PhD student
I want to investigate the ecological and evolutionary dynamics between and within species across physical gradients, like elevation, and in response to changing climate patterns. Running, drawing moss and mountains, and working to help people use observation and informed discussion daily, fuel my desire to learn and teach.
Bodie Weedop – research assistant
Bodie recently graduated from USU with a degree in biology, and has been working on a number of bioinformatic projects in the lab. He recently developed a novel hierarchical DNA sequence alignment algorithm (released in the program Splinter), and is currently working to improve phylogenetic conservation prioritisation in the face of uncertainty and missing data.
Mark Sneddon – undergraduate student
Mark is an electrical engineering major who’s interested in applying his mathematical skills to understand how populations of animals and plants are threatened across the globe.