About

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Alverson lab at the University of Arkansas. I study the evolution of marine and freshwater diatoms, a species-rich lineage important for global cycling of carbon and oxygen and famous for their intricately ornamented silica cell walls. My research leverages experimental, ecological, and genomic data—all grounded in a phylogenetic framework—to address trait evolution, diversification, and adaptation to changing environments.

Experience

Postdoctoral fellow

2014 - Present
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Research on diatom diversification, transcriptional response to salinity, local adaptation to salinity gradients, phylogenomics and genome evolution.

Research/Teaching assistant

2007 - 2014
The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA

TA, Genetics. RA, diatom phylogenetics projects. Field work in Guam, Sulawesi, Siberia.

Research/Teaching assistant

2005 - 2007
Sts Cyril & Methodius University Skopje, Macedonia

TA, Phycology and Limnology. RA, diatom taxonomy and ecology in ancient Lake Ohrid.

Projects

Functional traits, life history, and diversification - A collection of studies ranging from the ecology of primary chloroplast endosymbiosis to global phytoplankton diversity patterns. I’ve also studied the evolution od diatom cell size, growth forms, and development and diversification from a life history and ecological perspectives.
Phylogenomics and genome evolution - An ongoing project investigating historical polyploidy and genome evolution in diatoms using whole genome and transcriptome scale data.
Acclimation and adaptation to changing salinity - One aspect of this project is on the relationships between growth reaction norms at different salinities and gene expression, while another uses whole-genome resequencing to understand local adaptation in the Baltic Sea salinity gradient.
R and Shiny - I work primarily in R and enjoy making interactive Shiny web applications related to my research or useful for experiments and data management and visualization in the lab.