Smiling for many reasons but particularly because it finally stopped raining so it was much easier to observe the chimps in the tree above me! (This was taken while I was working with the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project in Kibale National Park, Uganda, after I completed my undergraduate degree.) Photo credit: Aaron Sandel/Nathan Chesterman
Welcome to my website! Thanks for visiting!
I am generally interested in the intersection between evolutionary biology, social behavior, and genomics across a broad range of animal taxa.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I am currently a PhD student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (affiliated with the Evolutionary Anthropology department) advised by Jenny Tung at Duke University. I received my BA in Biology (Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Broadly, my graduate work focuses on understanding hybridization - the process of interbreeding between genetically distinct taxa - in the wild. I am particularly interested in (i) what maintains taxonomic integrity in the face of gene flow, including genetic, behavioral, and ecological barriers, and (ii) the possible costs and benefits to hybridization.
To answer these questions, I primarily focus on a population of wild baboons in the Amboseli region of southern Kenya that has been studied continuously by the Amboseli Baboon Research Project for almost 50 (!) years. Amboseli lies in a hybrid zone between the yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) and the anubis baboon (P. anubis, also known as the olive baboon). This population, while primarily composed of yellow baboon genetic ancestry, has experienced historic and ongoing admixture with anubis baboons. I am analyzing long-term behavioral, demographic, and ecological data in combination with newly generated genomic data and cutting-edge genomic methods and analysis.
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