The work being done in my lab broadly interfaces behavioral ecology and parasitism, with the ultimate aim of better understanding the evolutionary relationships between animal hosts and the parasites that depend on them. I am a behavioral ecologist by training and at heart, but like any modern scientific undertaking, our work covers many fields, including behavioral ecology and ethology, cognition, parasitology, ecological immunology and infectious disease ecology and epidemiology. To accomplish our research aims, we integrate field and lab work with computational methods that delve into network analyses, fractals and chaos.
After receiving the MA degree from the University of Calgary, I moved to Japan and worked as an English teacher before returning to academia in 2007 to conduct doctoral studies at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute. My dissertation, which was supervised by Dr. Michael Huffman, was entitled "Gastrointestinal helminth parasitism among Japanese macaques: patterns, processes and host responses". After completing my degree, I remained at the PRI as a post-doctoral research associate with CICASP but worked largely with Dr. Yan Ropert-Coudert at the CNRS-Strasbourg University supported by a JSPS researcher exchange grant to study complexity in seabird foraging behavior in relation to habitat characteristics and global change. I was awarded an assistant professorship with CICASP in April 2012, and was promoted to Associate Professor in April 2014 with affiliations to Kyoto University's Wildlife Research Center and its Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science. In April 2017, I became tenured Associate Professor at PRI, with CICASP and the Department of Ecology and Social Behavior, through Kyot University's Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences. To date, I have studied primates in one capacity or another in Central America, Africa, and Asia, but my current focus is on Asian primates and their gastrointestinal parasites. My research is and has been supported by grants-in-aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, as well as Kyoto University. Aside from primates, I also study seabird behaviour, and in particular patterns of behavioural complexity among various penguin species in relation to various ecological challenges and global change biology.