My research focuses on bats killed at wind turbines. My main project involves attempting to determine the location that killed bats originate from. Three types of data are used for this project, trace element, isotope, and genetic data. Isotopes have been used greatly in the past to track the movements of migratory animals, and genetics have provided some insight as well. Meanwhile, only recently have studies been able to use trace element information from biological samples and relating it to soil concentrations to track the movements of wildlife.
I also l have broad interests in environmental DNA (eDNA) as well, and continue to collaborate with others in projects using eDNA. Currently, this includes determining if eDNA is a usable technique to determine if burrowing crayfish are present in an area without having to disturb their burrows. Check out my collaborator on this work, Mael Glon.
Previous research for my master's degree at Central Michigan University was conducted on invasive grass carp in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. This was primarily concerned with using eDNA to help determine their locations and using blood samples from captured fish to determine their ploidy and therefore their reproductive viability in the Western Basin.
Undergraduate research was done under the supervision of Dr. Tom Bultman at Hope College. The focus of the research was the interaction of an endophytic fungi (Neotyphodium) and Lolium arundinaceum. The goal of the study was to determine the signaling mechanism that regulates the increase of alkaloids production by Neotyphodium (i.e. is Neotyphoidum responding to damage to the host or to itself).