Research Interests: |
His research and teaching interests include phylogenetic systematics, vertebrate paleontology, comparative and functional anatomy, zoogeography, evolutionary biology and herpetology. He has undertaken a longterm project to comprehensively review within lizards several poorly known anatomical systems; glandular and sensory structures of the epidermis; arterial branching patterns; musculature of the trunk, girdle and limbs, including innervation; comparative anatomy of the lung, nose and middle ear) which will be compared with the well documented character variation of the skeleton. His methodology is comparative anatomy with cladistic analysis of the character state distribution among taxa. In addition, Dr. Moody is collaborating with other laboratories to corroborate or falsify the morphologically based hypotheses with molecular comparisons. DNAxDNA hybridization, immunological distance, and mitochondrial DNA sequences are the comparisons of choice. Together with Dr. Matthew White, Dr. Moody is studying the geographic molecular variation of two widespread species, the Eastern Spadefooted Toad Scaphiopus holbrooki and the Racer (a snake) Coluber constrictor in an attempt to unravel their evolutionary history in relationship to glaciational cycles, vegetation and soils. Dr.Moody is also reviewing the conservation biology and historical biogeography of all amphibian and reptilian species found in the State of Ohio.