How to write a bad research proposal

We’re well into Fall semester now and I’m helping to lead a class called Natural Science Research Methods. The goal of the class is to help new Masters students in the School of Forestry propose and plan their two-year thesis project. It’s exciting hearing about all of the cool research ideas these students are wrestling with. This … More How to write a bad research proposal


I believe that the best way to learn about the scientific process and environmental issues is to engage with them. I am passionate about teaching and have led classes at Colby College, discussion sessions at Yale University, and have mentored 12 undergraduate researchers. My goal as a teacher and mentor is to enable students to … More Teaching

Week 1: What is Biodiversity Conservation

Pre-dendum: I’d originally outlined a series of posts talking about each week’s lecture from my course at Colby College on biodiversity conservation. In the last few weeks though, well, everything’s been turned on its head. My heart goes out to my friends, family members, and the many strangers on the front lines of the struggle … More Week 1: What is Biodiversity Conservation

Conservation biology, in a month

This January, I had the the immense good fortune to be invited to teach a “JanPlan” at Colby College, in Waterville Maine. I’d never designed and led a course before, but I knew I wanted to get some teaching experience before becoming a professor. The Colby JanPlan ended up being a perfect opportunity because my … More Conservation biology, in a month


After a long hiatus through just about all of 2019, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to this blog! There are fun, interesting, and exciting things afoot for this year and I miss the writing. I’m in St. Louis, working in the biology department at Washington University. I’ve just wrapped up the final year … More 2020

A new method for taking toepad pictures in the field!

This is a reblog of a post I wrote over on Anole Annals Getting good pictures of lizard toepads in the field can be tricky. Flatbed scanners are heavy and don’t take well to transit bumps and bruises, and getting a digital camera to focus on the toe, not the glass, requires surgical precision on the manual focus ring. … More A new method for taking toepad pictures in the field!

Lizards in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

About 10 days remaining before the defense! I passed in a complete dissertation draft on Friday and now I’m plugging away at the defense presentation itself. I’ll be posting details about how to log in to the live-stream of the defense at the end of this week, but before that I want to share this story with … More Lizards in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY