I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and attended the University of New Mexico, earning a B.S. in Biology in 1990. I then attended graduate school at the Pennsylvania State University (better known as Penn State) in State College, Pennsylvania, where I studied molecular evolutionary biology. My thesis investigated higher-level snake phylogenetics using DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes (12S and 16S ribosomal RNA). I earned my M.S. in Biology with a specialization in molecular evolution from Penn State in 1995. Next, I attended the University of Tennessee – Knoxville where I earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 1998. My dissertation topic was the phylogeny and biogeography of Galápagos lava lizards as inferred from nucleotide sequence variation of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and 16S ribosomal RNA genes. After finishing my dissertation, I worked for four years at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville as laboratory technician/coordinator in the lab of Dr. Ed Schilling – the primary focus of this lab was the molecular evolution and phylogenetics of members of the sunflower family (Asteracaae). In the fall of 2002, I came to what was then Okaloosa – Walton Community College where I teach General Biology, Principles of Biology II and (occasionally) Zoology and General Biology Laboratory.
In addition to teaching biology, I enjoy herpetology, going to Pensacola Ice Flyers ice hockey games, spending time in the woods, hiking and kayaking, computer gaming, reading, and watching "Archer" and "Top Gear" (the good BBC version). As often as possible, I travel to southern Africa for photographic safaris and hunting (with both bow and rifle). I currently live in Crestview with my wife Lauren and our two Pembroke Welsh Corgis.