Welcome to danieltoews.com! 

My my personal website for all things you need to know about me, my research, and my work in and out of academia.


About me

      Broadly, I am a scientist, an educator, husband and father. I am a plant evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that drive ecological specialization in extreme and heterogeneous environments. I am currently a PhD candidate in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group at the University of California, Merced, advised by Dr. Jason Sexton. At the Sexton Lab, our research centers on understanding the vulnerabilities and adaptive responses of plants to a rapidly changing world. My research interests are conservation-oriented and focused on understanding the patterns of plant diversity and adaptation across complex environmental gradients. I use a combination of genetic techniques (environmental DNA barcoding), traditional survey methods, and experimental biology to better understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics of plants in California's highly threatened and extremely diverse vernal pool wetlands. Between extracting plant DNA from environmental samples, measuring vernal pool plant traits or chasing my kids around, I work as a consulting biologist. In this capacity, I have developed  somewhat of an obsession with rare vernal pool plants and animals, and have participated in several land conservation projects spanning thousands of acres throughout California's great Central Valley. I enjoy teaching, exploring our planets wondrous landscapes, and spending time with my familyHave fun exploring my websit and please reach out if you would like to learn more about me!