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The long-term goal of my research program is to understand the connections among morphology, function, behavior and ecology, and how these factors interact to result in ecological radiations. My work is focused on mammals, with a particular emphasis on bats. This group is one of the most ecologically and morphologically diverse lineages within mammals and thus offer a unique opportunity to investigate patterns and mechanisms of diversification. I apply a comparative and integrative approach to my research, involving data collection in the field from free-ranging animals, along with lab techniques for the study of behavior, morphology, biomechanics and evolutionary patterns. By doing this work within a broad comparative context, I am able to test hypotheses about adaptations and diversification.
Sharlene completed a Licenciatura en Biología at Universidad de Los Andes (Venezuela) in 2004, a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at UMass Amherst (2005-2010), and a postdoctoral position at the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics (2010-2012). She has been an Assistant professor in the Department of Biology and the Curator of Mammals at the Burke Museum since Autumn 2012.