Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska (2013) – with Varanus komodoensis

I am a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Jacob Kerby at the University of South Dakota. Broadly, I am interested in how biotic and abiotic stressors (i.e., predators, pathogens, contaminants, and environmental variables) affect both individuals and populations. I approach questions concerning the ecology of stressors in an organismal context by incorporating various fields, including behavioral ecology, stress and environmental physiology, ecotoxicology, and disease ecology, all with the goal of conservation of both species and habitat. My research has primarily involved amphibians and reptiles as focal taxa, and I have used both laboratory and field experiments to answer these research questions.

Previously, I received a M.S. in Population and Conservation Biology at Texas State University and a B.S. in Biology (Ecology, Evolution, Behavior) at the University of Texas at Austin. For my M.S. thesis I studied the effects of native and introduced predators on the threatened San Marcos Salamander by examining the role of predator generalization in the recognition of novel predators as well as measured corticosterone stress hormones of salamanders in response to predation risk.