After graduating from the Department of Biology
at New Mexico State University with a Ph.D. in theoretical biology in 2006, I have held three postdoctoral positions: (1) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Mathematics
and the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. (2) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Antiviral Research Center at the University of California, San Diego. (3) A postdoctoral fellowship with the Energy Research Laboratory at New Mexico State University. My most recent employment includes tutoring high school students in science
in Santa Fe, New Mexico, teaching mathematics at New Mexico State University, a research assistant professor at Arizona State University's Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, (MCMSC) and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico State University, where I taught college algebra
Through my previous college and work experience, I have developed a strong understanding of the role that statistical and mathematical analysis plays in enabling one to find optimal solutions to problems in ecology
and evolutionary biology.
For example, I have expertise in building discrete-time models, continuous-time differential equation models and spatial-temporal models and am well versed in the use of univariate and multivariate techniques in statistical analysis. In addition, I have a strong background in the application of regression analysis, permutation techniques, e.g. bootstrapping and Monte Carlo analysis, and time-series analysis to scientific problems. I am also well versed in the use of stochastic models in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Due to my extensive knowledge of, and experience with, multiple disciplines within biology, particularly with the application of qualitative and quantitative techniques to several problems in field and laboratory ecology and evolutionary biology, I would make an ideal candidate tutoring.
I am a theoretical biologist interested in population and community dynamics. My research areas encompass: (1) Developing statistical and mathematical models for estimating organismal occupancy, abundance, and density. ( 2) The temporal and spatio-temporal dynamics of nonlinear ecological systems for multitrophic interactions (predator-prey, host-parasite, and mutualist-host), particularly statistical and mathematical approaches to scale-up systems from small, individual, levels to population levels. (3) The response of nonlinear ecological systems to environmental variability and the application of nonlinear time series analysis to identify key environmental drivers and the response of individuals, populations and communities to these drivers. In particular, the nonlinear dynamics of bacterial, algal and fungal populations, diapausing insect populations, and arthropod-borne viruses to climate change, including aspects of evolutionary change in population and community structure. I am also interested in the nonlinear dynamics of infectious diseases in response to environmental variability. The main disease I have studied is influenza (H5N1 avian influenza), but work is also underway on the Dengue virus and HIV. (4) The relationship between structure and dynamics in large networks of ecological interactions (consumer-resource, mutualistic, and parasitic links).
Since obtaining my PhD in theoretical biology in 2006, I have had held three postdoctoral fellowships, and taught undergraduate and graduate level courses during each of these fellowships. In addition, I have taught college level courses as a College Professor (New Mexico State University), Assistant Research Professor (Arizona State University), and as a Visiting Assistant Professor (New Mexico State University. In addition to having taught undergraduate algebra
and calculus at these institutions, I have also taught probability
and statistics, and theoretical biology at the undergraduate and graduate level.
As a result of my experiences as an academic, I believe that a strong understanding of the ‘scientific method’ must play an important role in undergraduate and graduate education. One of a student’s first tasks in becoming a scientist is to understand how to properly construct hypotheses and test theories.
As a teacher and researcher in academia, I have found that the future scientists of today lack a solid grasp of how to apply the scientific method to test the kinds of questions they want to address. What I have found to be frustrating is that the student’s I have taught are not aware of the fact that scientific theories can only be falsified and are never 'proved' or 'disproved'. I believe that this misunderstanding stems from the fact that most science departments do not require an extensive discourse in the philosophy of science at either the undergraduate or graduate level. In order to convey to students how the scientific process works, it is critical that they have this knowledge at their disposal.