I study nudibranchs, which are a subgroup of sea slugs, because of their amazing diversity of shapes and colors and their strong associations with corals. To understand what I mean by their amazing diversity, one only has to do a Google images search on nudibranchs. Their brightly patterned bodies and interesting shapes are enough to spark anyone’s curiosity. For my PhD I studied how the process of shifting to a new coral host species has resulted in the formation of new species in the genus Tenellia. I did this by analyzing the genomic divergence between species on different hosts to identify adaptation to those hosts.
For my postdoctoral research I am using genomic tools to determine how coral-association has influenced the diversification of all coral-associated nudibranchs. I am also collecting data using a citizen science project on iNaturalist. Recent observations are posted to my home page. Please share this project with any snorkelers and divers you know! Follow updates to the overall project on Researchgate.