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.

Curatorial Assistant, Herpetology, Cal Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA
2006 – 2007

  • Kept nomenclature and taxonomy up-to-date with current literature, under direction of the collections manager.
  • Managed loans: kept records up-to-date, packaged and shipped fragile and hazardous materials.
  • Entered data (relational database) and performed quality control.
  • Drew biological illustrations for a new lizard species description (manuscript in prep).

Curatorial Assistant, Ornithology

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
2003 – 2005

  • Assisted in maintaining and adding to collection of over 182,000 bird specimens, including study skins, skeletal and fluid specimens, and frozen tissue samples.
  • Kept nomenclature and taxonomy up-to-date with current literature according to directions of collections manager and curator.
  • Managed specimen loans: kept records current, packaged and shipped fragile and hazardous materials.
  • Entered data (custom relational database) and performed quality control.
  • Prepared bird and mammal study skins for museum collection.

Mammalian diversity survey – Field Technician

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
2005

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.

Population genetics of sparrows and salamanders – Laboratory Technician

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
2002 – 2005

Ensatina eschscholtzii. Photo by Juan Parra.
  • Conducted genetic analysis of over 3000 samples with minimal to no supervision.
  • Extracted DNA from tissue samples (extraction kits, phenol-chloroform, high-salt protocols)
  • Amplified nuclear and mitochondrial DNA via PCR (optimization, troubleshooting)
  • Performed (Sanger) cycle sequencing reactions, edited and analyzed sequence data (Sequencher, PAUP, MacClade, GeneScan).
  • Operated and maintained automated DNA sequencers (ABI 377, ABI 3730).

Data collection contributed to studies on geographic variation and secondary contact in the Sage Sparrow complex and hybridization in the Ensatina salamander ring species complex.