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PhD in Integrative Biology
University of Guelph
Advisor: Dr. Andrew McAdam
BSc in Ecology & English (Creative Non-fiction)
St. Lawrence University
Advisors: Dr. Erika Barthelmess
Prof. Mary Hussmann
I completed my BSc at St. Lawrence University in northern New York in 2012 and am now a PhD candidate in Dr. Andrew McAdam's lab at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. While at St. Lawrence I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Erika Barthelmess and Prof. Mary Hussmann to combine my passion for both biology and creative writing. I spent much of my time at St. Lawrence studying and writing about the North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) and have now turned my sights to somewhat smaller prey, the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).
As a scientist I am keenly interested in animal behaviour and the selective pressures that shape how and why animals behave the way they do. One important aspect of an organism's environment is, of course, the conspecifics with which it might compete, cooperate, mate, or otherwise interact. I am intrigued by the potential for this social environment to serve as an important selective pressure and am currently using red squirrels as a model system to investigate this.
Having worked as a summer naturalist in the Adirondacks and as Project Manager for an environmental education initiative, Nature Up North, I believe strongly in the importance of scientific communication and am invested in encouraging public understanding of, and engagement with science. I enjoy teaching in both formal and informal contexts and hope to work towards better integrating public education and scientific communication into our training as scientists.
In my free time you can almost always find me outdoors or with a good book in hand. I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, and exploring waterfalls in the Finger Lakes area of New York where I grew up.
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