I am an evolutionary and behavioral ecologist with a particular interest in understanding how ecology drives biological adaptation. At the interface of ecology and evolution, I am also interested in the role of whole-organism performance in determining fitness. My research so far has incorporated controlled laboratory experiments, theoretical modeling, and field data to offer mechanistic insights into the ecology of adaptation.
My research experience has been quite diverse. For my PhD, I examined how ecology drove adaptive variation in a costly defense trait (the voluntary shedding of the tail in lizards) both within and among populations. Before joining the Merrill lab, I spent two years as a postdoc at Duke University studying the biomechanics of ultrafast mandible strikes in trap-jaw ants. My research focus in the Merrill lab will be the genetics of mate preference in Heliconius butterflies.
The Merrill Lab
Division of Evolutionary Biology
Großhaderner Str. 2
82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany