Wildlife trapping field coordinator – Graduate Student Researcher

Yale University
New Haven, CT
2008 – 2012

Wrestling with a flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)
  • Trapped small mammals and mist-netted birds, examined and collected ectoparasites.
  • Planned study design and logistics; planned travel and acquired necessary tools and equipment within limited budget.
  • Hired, trained, and supervised a team of five field and laboratory technicians.
  • Designed database (Microsoft Access) and wrote R program code for data analysis.

Teaching Fellow

Yale University
New Haven, CT
2008 – 2011

Acted as teaching assistant and lead lab sections for courses:

  • Ornithology,
  • Biology of Infectious Agents,
  • Geographic Information Systems,
  • Ecology and Epidemiology of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

The latter three are targeted at students earning the Masters of Public Health degree.

  • Contributed to development of lab and field exercises, in some cases based on my own original research, for Geographic Information Systems and Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
  • Evaluated and graded student assignments.
  • Created and administered quizzes for practical section of Ornithology in which students identified museum specimens to species, using the Peabody collection.
  • Assisted students with individual research projects, including project design, statistical and spatial analyses, and creating final reports.

Teaching for Ornithology involved a trip to Ecuador, during which we spotted and identified over 500 bird species in two weeks. Video of parrots at a clay lick along the Rio Napo in the Amazon: … is coming soon.

Lyme disease ecology – Field Technician

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, NY

Peromyscus leucopus
  • Trapped, handled, identified, and assessed reproductive condition of small mammals. Identified parasitic ticks and life stages. Data collection contributed to long-term studies of the ecology of Lyme disease transmission.
  • Collected ticks by drag cloth.
  • Assayed tick samples for Lyme disease-causing bacterium: dissected ticks and prepared slides for fluorescent antibody analysis by microscopy.
  • Identified seedlings and seeds of the Eastern deciduous forest.
  • Entered data in Microsoft Excel.

Yellowstone canid ecology – Field Technician

Yellowstone Ecological Research Center
Bozeman, MT & Yellowstone National Park, WY/MT

Canis latrans with radiocollar
  • Tracked foxes and coyotes in Yellowstone National Park as part of a long-term study on the effects of wolf reintroduction into the Park on canid social interactions.
  • Drove 4WD vehicles on snowy and rough terrain and used radio telemetry equipment to triangulate locations of radiocollared individuals. Visually located and identified individual foxes, coyotes, and wolves.
  • Trapped foxes, took standard measurements, collected hair and blood samples, fitted with radiocollars.
  • Entered data in Microsoft Excel, Locate, and ArcView.
  • Completed a basic avalanche safety course.
Beep, beep, beep, beep…

Mammalian diversity survey – Field Technician

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley

Virginia Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA
  • Backpacked into historically sampled sites in Yosemite National Park to survey small mammal, reptile, and amphibian populations.
  • Set and monitored traps (Shermans, tomahawks, pitfalls, snap traps, gopher traps), handled and identified animals to species.
  • Prepared study skin specimens for museum collection.
  • Used GPS devices to obtain locality coordinates.
  • Entered data (Microsoft Excel) and performed quality control.

Data collection contributed to manuscript “Impact of a century of climate change on small-mammal communities in Yosemite National Park, USA”, published in Science, 2008.

Moth ears in a bat-free environment, French Polynesia – Undergraduate Student Researcher

Richard B. Gump Field Station
Mo’orea, French Polynesia

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

As part of a semester-long course on the Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands, conducted on the island of Mo’orea (sister island to Tahiti):

  • Designed and conducted an independent field research project, “Geometrid moth systematics and retention of the tympanal organ in the absence of bat predation.”
  • Collected, identified, dissected, measured, and preserved moths.
Cleora spp.

Cleora spp.

  • Generated phylogeny of moths based on morphological characteristics and mapped sizes of the tympanal organ to see if moths endemic to these islands showed evidence of tympanal degradation. No degradation was observed based on diameter of the tympanum.

Costa Rican bats & batflies – Undergraduate Student Researcher

Monteverde Institute
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sturnira ludovici, Monteverde, Costa Rica

As part of a tropical ecology-focused study abroad program,

  • Designed and conducted an independent field research project, “Cospeciation of parasitic streblid batflies and their microchiropteran hosts.”
  • Mist-netted, identified, marked, and removed ectoparasites from bats. Collected, preserved, and identified batflies.
  • Used microscopic morphological characters to generate a phylogeny of batflies and compared it to the bat host phylogeny. High elevation bat species and their batflies have similar phylogenetic structure, and may have cospeciated in relative isolation.
Strebla hertigi, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Field Biology Undergraduate Student Instructor

Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley

  • Assisted graduate student instructors in teaching a field-methods lab section as part of a general ecology course.
  • Guided and assisted 30 students in designing, conducting, analyzing, and presenting results on their ecology-focused group field research projects.
  • Assisted in standardizing and refining data collection methods.
  • Applied basic statistical analyses to collected data.