After my year working on the monkey project from 2005-2006, I moved to Boston to take a full time research assistant position working for Dr. Cheryl Knott, who studies orangutan behavioral ecology. I worked for her for two years as I decided that I wanted to go to graduate school and worked on my applications. Getting the chance to spend time around grad students without being one myself was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the ups and downs of graduate school and the types of things that are important for success.
I earned my PhD in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis where I worked with Professor Andrew J. Marshall in the Department of Anthropology. Andy has taken several Lomas alumni as graduate students because he knows monkey project personnel are hard working, tough and determined, including Katie Feilen. She and I had a lot of fun as labmates and finished our PhDs at the same time. That’s us together at UCD graduation in 2014 in the picture (I am on the left, Katie on the right).
Since leaving Davis, I worked at Conservation International for the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. TEAM monitors over 500 populations of mammals and birds in tropical forest protected areas around the world using standardized arrays of camera traps. I was brought in as a postdoc to analyze and synthesize long-term data from the TEAM Network. Working for a non-profit was a completely different experience from graduate school and I loved being a part of such a large-scale project. I continue to work closely with TEAM in my current position as a Michigan Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. And I will continue to work with TEAM as I transition to the BioSciences Department at Rice University for the 2018-2019 academic year. I’m looking for graduate students and postdocs to join my lab at Rice, so definitely get in touch if you’re interested! Here’s a link to my webpage where you can check out our research.