NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Shawn joined the Lovette Lab in November 2016 as an NSF postdoctoral fellow after completing his PhD at the University of Wyoming (2011-2016) with Lovette Lab alum Matt Carling. For his PhD, Shawn studied a hybrid zone between Red-naped and Red-breasted sapsuckers, investigating the mechanisms that have contributed to observed shifts in the hybrid zone over the past 100 years. Prior to graduate school at Wyoming, Shawn completed his BSc at Cornell University, where he did his honors thesis in the Lovette Lab, studying population genetics of Barn Swallows.
For his postdoctoral research, Shawn will be using a series of specimens housed at Cornell to compare multiple hybrid zones that occur in the Great Plains of North America, hoping to understand the factors that influence patterns of speciation on a broad scale. For his research, Shawn uses an integrative approach that combines genomic data, plumage and morphometric data from museum specimens, climate niche modeling approaches, and citizen science data for a better understanding of hybridization between species.