Evolutionary Biologist, Wildlife Photographer, Travel Aficionado


I have a childlike curiosity and enthusiasm with the natural world. I grew up in Michigan spending time chasing butterflies and frogs, fishing with family, and camping with friends. This turned into a lifelong passion for the outdoors.

 

My initial interests were largely science based through college classes. In 2006 in Panama, I was introduced to Poison Frogs, which would occupy my curiosity for years to come.  I was so amazed by the variety of colors among populations of the Strawberry Poison Frog (Oophaga pumilio) that I wanted to research why such a phenomenon might occur. This led me to my Master's research on this species. From there, I continued onto a PhD working on similar questions on the Dyeing Poison Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius).

I am now taking an exciting new turn in my career as I start a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Irvine where I am, in some senses, getting back to my roots and working with butterflies. I aim to understand how butterflies can see color and how that changes across species.

 

Concurrently with this realization was a passion for the tropics and wanting to share my experiences with the world. My interests in photography blossomed into what would be as important to me as pursuing questions of the natural world. These experiences have taken me all over the world, and I hope to instill the passion I have into others through my research and photography.

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© by J.P. LAWRENCE PHOTOGRAPHY

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