Research Interests

I study the evolution of mating systems and reproductive morphology. Along the way, I’ve learned a whole lot about harvestmen (Opiliones).HiraiSomaLeiobunum hiraiwai, male, from Nagano Prefecture, Japan

The central goal of my research program is to understand the mechanisms by which reproductive traits and behaviors, particularly those contributing to sexual conflict, become elaborate. Furthermore, I work to:

  1. Use models of sexual selection to understand how diversity in reproductive structures/behaviors is produced.
  2. Characterize the ecological factors that instigate or contribute to antagonistic interactions between the sexes.
  3. Understand and describe the biomechanical function of genitalia in order to assess genital response to evolutionary selective pressures.

Research has taken me all over the United States, as well as Asia! I spend my time and efforts in the field, laboratory, and in front of a variety of audiences. It is a real pleasure to learn and teach about the widely-occurring, yet paradoxically understudied daddy long-legs!

Currently, I am studying the Japanese harvestmen of the curvipalpe group. This group of species includes two facultative parthenogens, and I am working to estimate outcrossing rate in females of these species.

eggsfigure-01
Check out these cutie pies! Eggs of three curvipalpe group species. Line = 1 mm.