Research Projects

I’m curious about the natural world and our place within it. My research interests broadly fall into three categories:

  1. The evolution of parental feeding and care strategies among extant and extinct vertebrates
  2. Growth, development, and metabolic records of vertebrate teeth
  3. Science education, experiential learning in science, and disability accessibility in science fields

Parental feeding and care strategies

  • What is parental care?
  • What drives the evolution of parental care in vertebrates?
  • What factors might lead to the selection of lactation (milk) or other nutrient production by parents (matrotrophy)?

close up of crocodile
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Leptomeryx fossil tooth, a molar block section. The tooth is yellow and shaped like flames rising up from a whitish colored root.
Photo by Taormina Lepore, Leptomeryx molar tooth block section

Tooth development, growth, and metabolic records

  • How do teeth grow and develop?
  • What patterns of whole dental growth and morphology do we see in various vertebrate groups, and why?
  • How is dental development related to other tissue types that rely on epidermal-mesenchymal signaling?
  • Teeth are amazing storytellers. What evidence can teeth provide for ancient metabolisms, diets, and environments?

Science Education and Accessibility

  • Which learning outcomes, outreach efforts, and modalities allow students to access science in an equitable way?
  • What impact does experiential or outdoor education have on student perception of science and science experiences?
  • How does disability accessibility pedagogy in a science class shift student thinking on diversity, equity, and inclusion?

tyrannosaurus rex model on top of a jewelry case display
Tyrannosaurus rex model in a public display curated by learners with cognitive disabilities

Want to learn more? Feel free to contact me at tlepore@berkeley.edu, or on Twitter.