Welcome to danieltoews.com! 

My my personal website and dumping grounds 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 consider myself to be 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 plant adaptation across complex environmental gradients. Specifically, I use a combination of metagenomics (environmental DNA barcoding), traditional survey techniques and experimental biology to better understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics that shape plant distributions in vernal pool wetlands. Between extracting plant DNA from environmental samples or measuring vernal pool plant traits, I work as a consulting biologist and have developed somewhat of an obsession with rare vernal pool plants and animals. I enjoy teaching, spending time with my wife and three lively boys, and botanizing our planets wondrous landscapes.