Brian graduated from Florida State University and joined our lab in August 2007. At FSU, Brian performed research under the guidance of Dr. Brian Inouye (who is an insect ecologist) and wrote a senior thesis titled “The varnished conk and the forked fungus beetle: predation vs. mutualism in the relationship between Ganoderma lucidum and Bolitotherus cornutus.” Prior to earning his biology degree, he worked in California for several years as an executive recruiter for Silicon Valley technology firms
Brian's current research is an investigation of the phylogeny and molecular ecology of the slippery but colorful Hygrophoraceae. In his first published paper (in press), he found evidence of a conserved biotrophic lifestyle across the family by using a combination of molecular and stable isotopic data. He has recently begun investigation of the evolution of nitrate reductase (nar) in Hygrophoraceae in order to further clarify the ecological role of the fungi.
Outside of the lab, Brian enjoys hiking, travel, nature photography, and being waist-deep in bogs. He volunteers with the African Community Education project as a tutor for African refugee children. He is also an aficionado of horror cinema – the cheesier the better.