Past, Graduate, and Future
My interests are in movement and community ecology at the landscape scale. From the field to the computer, I'm interested in learning about our environment and how wildlife moves through and uses space. In particular, species interactions are most interesting because I think they tell us the most about our world and how it is changing.
While my work has mostly focused on mammals, I'm also interested in vertebrates in general. There is true value in the collaboration between such focused individuals (i.e., mammalogists, herpetologists, etc.) who use the same tools to solve the same problems, but never see each other's work.
In my past research you'll find a project I completed as an undergraduate at University of Alaska Fairbanks which started as a class projected for Dr. Perry Barboza's Wildlife Nutrition course and ended up being one of the best, and maybe to Dr. Barboza's horror, infamous stories I took from my undergraduate experience.
I was also involved in volunteer and intern opportunities that guided me to where I am today. I started as a volunteer at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in north Alabama, assisted an Auburn University graduate student with a black bear project, and then moved to Alaska to expand my education. I was an intern at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in research involving Arctic marine mammals through the Arctic Marine Mammal Program and a summer internship on Kodiak Island piloting a study on effect of logging treatments on Roosevelt elk.
My master's research focused primarily on the potential eradication of a non-native invasive species, but I was further able to learn about techniques to monitor the impacts of this species on native wildlife. That impact I've measured with trail camera data acquired from yearly white-tailed deer and Eastern wild turkey surveys and should facilitate a better understanding of these species interactions.
As a wildlife technician in Alaska, I am able to ride around in a PA-18 Super cub looking for moose, hike around searching for ptarmigan, and interact with the public on many issues. I have become incredibly familiar with Alaska'a hunting regulations and I have been able to keep a finger on the direction of research within the department. I have even gotten to write up a proposal for my own work all standing from the computer as a technician!