Understanding the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth

My overarching research goal is to understand how evolution works to generate the remarkable diversity of living organisms around us today. Historically, my lab has conducted research in diverse areas of evolutionary biology, with a focus on plants, development, and molecular evolution. My currently focus is on the origin and early evolution of life, specifically the mechanisms by which evolutionary processes initiate during origins of life. This is a fascinating puzzle, with implications for explaining why cells are the way they are and what life might look like elsewhere in the Universe.

Statement on diversity and inclusion

In this lab, we believe that building an inclusive lab environment, where all members are welcomed and included regardless of identity or personal history, is a moral obligation and a recipe for good science. To achieve this, we require all lab members to treat each other respectfully and help eliminate all obstacles to equity and inclusion. 
       Our specific expectations for lab members include being good listeners, being willing to acknowledge and correct implicit biases (which we all have to some degree), avoiding destructive power dynamics, and working to identify policies that can hold individuals from historically marginalized groups back from meeting their full potential. All our actions, inside or outside of the lab itself, should be consistent with a lab culture of inclusivity and antiracism.  By such actions, we aim to maximize the potential of all lab members to make novel and important scientific contributions and nurture the next generation of leaders and scientists. (Written jointly by lab members, Sept. 2021)

Contact us!
Department of Botany
Birge Hall 216/220
430 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Discovery Building, Third Floor West
330 N Orchard St
Madison, WI 53715