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Jimmy O'Donnell

Evolution • Ecology • Numbers • Computers


I am interested in understanding how the world works and how it got to be the way it is. I like solving challenging problems, from optimizing the cost efficiency of DNA sequencing in the face of molecular limitations, to understanding the effect of extinction on an ecological network. I lean on a diverse analytical and computational skill set to accomplish these goals.

My primary research focus has been understanding the organization and dynamics of biological diversity. Why are some groups of organisms many times more diverse than others? What is the role of the spatial arrangement of organisms in the generation and maintenance of diversity? How does ecological specialization evolve, and how does it affect the organization of genetic diversity? How have things changed since human populations exploded, and how will they continue to change? I enjoy thinking about these questions and finding novel ways to answer them.

I earned my BS in Zoology at the University of Florida, and my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington affiliated with Ryan Kelly in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Outside of work, I occasionally make food, drinks, music, and electronics. My better half makes cool stuff out of fabric.

The best way to get in touch with me is by email: jodonnellbio !at!