Dan is originally from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where he was born and raised in the old steel city of McKeesport. He earned his B.S. in Biology at the Pennsylvania State University and proceeded to earn his M.S. in Biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research interests had shifted from researching the systematics of Caribbean mistletoes (Dendropemon) in his undergrad to the phylogenetics of herpetofauna in Central America during his time at IUP. His M.S. work was mostly focused on investigating the phylogenetic relationships of Neotropical leopard frogs, Pantherana. He has been lucky enough to do some exciting field work in Honduras and study abroad in Shanghai, among other adventures before arriving in Arlington.
Dan is broadly interested in how morphological traits evolve, how the landscape and ecology influence microevolutionary processes, species delimitation, and systematics overall. Amphibian and reptile Systematics and Taxonomy always being a favorite as, to him, it is one of the most tangible and public facing disciplines within biology. He is also interested in developing projects that leverage the vast amount of public and open-access data to answer questions related to the aforementioned topics.
If you ever want to chat about biology, technology, or want to know more about Dan, you can contact him through email, daniel.dudek(at)uta.edu, or send him a dm on Twitter, @jr_dudek.