BS Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology - UC Davis 2011
My background before Yale was in wildlife conservation especially concerning California birds, amphibians, and reptiles. I spent three years working at the California Raptor Center where I rehabilitated injured hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and vultures. I also conducted numerous educational events where I taught the public about wildlife declines using birds-of-prey as case studies. I have participated in many amphibian research projects ranging from river surveys for threatened foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) to endangered California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense). As an undergraduate, I researched the basking-site differences between introduced red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and California’s only native freshwater water turtle, the wester pond turtle (Emys marmorata), in an urban waterway. Just before moving to Yale I headstarted a removal of introduced turtles from this urban waterway so that reserach could be conducted on the potential benefits of removing this widely introduced species. Another projet I worked on as an undergraduate was a review of how effective waterfowl acted as indicators of the health of restored wetlands.
As a MESc student at Yale I am interested in understanding large-area distributions of vertebrates especially in relation to land use. More specifically I want to research how birds and amphibians, two very different classes of vertebrates, respond to both the restoration and created of wetlands in comparison to more natural wetlands. Due to differences in vagility, life history, and cues we may expect birds and amphibians to respond differently restored and created wetlands. Simply put, Connecticut defined wetland restoration as repairing an already existing wetland while wetland creation is putting a wetland where one did not historically exist. Many wetlands are managed for ecosystem services, such as flood control and toxin sequestration, but not necessarily as wildlife habitat, although managed wetlands may prove to be effective wildlife habitat. Measuring the diversity and abundance of birds and amphibians at these different wetland types may provide insight into the benefits of managed wetlands for different types of vertebrates.