Matt is a third year graduate student, and his dissertation research is on the evolution of Anolis lizards on Puerto Rico. His research topics cover comparative phylogeography, physiology, and gene flow along elevational gradients. He also conducted a variety of herpetology studies while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley.
Teasing apart crypsis and aposematism
Using Panamanian toads as a model, Matt has shown that disruptive coloration can reduce predation. Using a clay model experiment, coupled with field observations on the natural abundance of different frog morphs, he measured attack rates on different colored and patterned replicas of real frogs.
Comparative physiology of sympatric island skinks
Skinks in the genus Emoia are highly abundant and distributed across many island in the South Pacific. Matt’s interests in Emoia began in Fall 2007 through participation in UC Berkeley’s “Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands” course in the tropical paradise known as Mo’orea. In the summer of 2008, he returned to French Polynesia with Dr. Craig Moritz to finish his investigation of the comparative thermal ecology of Emoia cyanura and Emoia impar.