I am an Assistant Professor at Lees-McRae College, where I teach Ecology, Ornithology, and Zoology.
My research sits at the intersection of evolutionary/ecological theory and natural history, which I view as mutually dependent. Like most biologists, I have grandiose ambitions to probe the general mechanisms governing the living world. But I strongly believe that the primary factor limiting our understanding of nature is our lack of basic knowledge about how organisms live and die. Such knowledge is essential for accurately parameterizing models but can also lead to surprising insights and new hypotheses. Consider the following quote from Darwin (1859, pg. 6):
"No one ought to feel surprise at much remaining as yet unexplained in regard to the origin of species and varieties, if he makes due allowance for our profound ignorance in regard to the mutual relations of all the beings which live around us. "
Lees-McRae students interested in getting research experience are encouraged to contact me, especially if you are interested in ecology, evolution, and/or animal behavior. We are fortunate to live in one of the most biodiverse regions in the temperate world and there are myriad opportunities to investigate what makes it tick. Importantly, there are multiple avenues we can explore to fund your research.
Wildlife Biology Program Lees-McRae College Banner Elk, NC, USA email: porterc at lmc dot edu