Life History, Ecology, and Conservation of Vertebrates
My research broadly focuses on (1) understanding vertebrate life history and ecology and (2) using this information to guide conservation and management decisions on population, species, or community levels. I use ecological and natural history data to answer hypotheses related to disturbance ecology, thermal ecology, population connectivity, reintroduction ecology, and impacts of natural or anthropogenic stressors on reptile, amphibian, or avian populations. I focus on developing local research projects in Mississippi/Alabama as well as projects at Kaxil Kiuic, the Millsaps Biocultural Preserve in Yucatan, Mexico.
My teaching interests closely mirror my research interests, so that one complements the other. As a field biologist, I value experiential learning and believe it is essential to understand ecological concepts or organisms. When students use the five senses to experience their environment, this solidifies the topics discussed in class. Such experiences could come through taking field trips, identifying specimens, class field projects, and learning field techniques. I currently teach Zoology, Wetland Ecology, Herpetology, Vertebrate Zoology, and Ornithology in the Biology Department at Millsaps College.
If you are a student interested in working in the lab or wish to collaborate on a project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Co-authored manuscript on the change in waterfowl abundance and species composition on Louisiana coastal WMAs and refuges published in the Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
- Manuscript on terrapin population structure and morphology across coastal Louisiana accepted in Estuaries and Coasts.
Lab member and Millsaps Senior, Gracie Bellnap, successfully completed her Honor's Thesis. She also received Honorable Mention at the 29th Annual Millsaps Student Science Research Symposium for her presentation, "Improved trapping methodologies and turtle community of Lefleur’s Bluff State Park". Congrats Gracie!
-Co-authored manuscript on the distribution and abundance of Alligator Snapping Turtles in southwestern Louisiana published in Southeastern Naturalist.