My research interests are centered around understanding the origin, maintenance, and distribution of biodiversity: How is diversity generated? How are species related to each other? What have been the relative contributions of biotic and abiotic factors in shaping the distribution of diversity? To address these questions, I use integrative approaches combining molecular and morphological data, with modern statistical and computing tools.

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida, where I document the diversity of planktonic communities using meta-barcoding. For my PhD, I investigated species limits and cryptic diversity in sea cucumbers, and conducted a taxonomic revision of a genus of small sea cucumbers. In addition to my research, I develop open-source software to analyze biodiversity and phylogenetic data in R.

Because I believe that science would progress faster if more scientists knew basic programming skills, I developed my own programming course for graduate students (R programming for biologists). I am also a certified instructor and an active member of the Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry organizations.

For updates, follow me on Twitter @fmic_

Highlights from Recent Publications

Phyrella mookiei

Revision of Phyrella and a new species from Guam

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The sea cucumbers from Guam

We still have a lot to learn from a well-studied fauna.

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Palm trees across Wallace's Line

Only a few lineages of palm trees have crossed Wallace’s Line. But the ones that did diversified at higher rates.

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