Mark was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he grew up exploring the mountains that flanked his childhood home. He went on to complete his bachelors at Penn State University. At Penn State he conducted research focusing on the behavioral ecology and physiology of reptiles. During this time Mark realized his passion for natural history collections and specimen-based research, and KU was a natural fit.
Mark is interested in describing and explaining the biodiversity that we see in nature. He prefers to use an integrative approach combining field work, specimen based research, ecology, and natural history to explore when, where, and why we see diversification.
Mark loves spending time in the field. His undergraduate work was focused in North America, where he spent most of his field seasons in Alabama, California, and Pennsylvania. Mark has also conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Panama, and Myanmar. He is extremely excited to begin work in the Philippines with his advisor Rafe Brown.