Experiences to date
I graduated from Canisius College in 2014 with a B.S. in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, a B.S. in Biology, and a minor in Anthrozoology. During my time at Canisius, I was involved in various research projects studying juvenile play, mother-calf attachment, and agonistic vocalizations in Killer Whales. Through these research efforts I won the Excellence in Animal Behavior Research Award in 2014.
During my undergraduate time at Canisius, I was also heavily involved conservation outreach. I served as a Canisius Ambassador for Conservation. This position involved leading school groups on guided walks through Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. During these walks I taught students about wetlands and migratory bird ecology, while also demonstrating basic birding skills. As a Canisius Ambassador for Conservation, I also was a docent at the Buffalo Zoo, educating zoo patrons on the ecology of and conservation efforts surrounding, polar bears, North American river otters, and hellbenders. Through this service work I won the Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation Service Award in 2014.
I began my graduate career in fall 2014 in the department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. My research involves experimentally manipulating social factors of flocks of semi-captive Carolina chickadees (and sometimes tufted titmice) to determine the influence these factors have on social structure and communicative complexity. My primary advisor is Dr. Todd Freeberg. I have received two research grants for my work at UTK: the Student Research Grant from the Animal Behavior Society and the Hesse Award from the American Ornithological Society.