Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and I am starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida in August. The focus of my research is on the influence of animals on aquatic ecosystem function, and much of my research takes place in the Mara River in Kenya.
What is one way your work is having a positive impact on natural resources and conservation?
The Mara River is a critical water source for both people and wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania. My research examines the interaction between water quantity and water quality in the river basin and provides information important for resource managers interested in protecting environmental flows in the river to sustain ecosystem services.
How did your time at Ichauway help prepare you for your current job or career?
I learned so much at Ichauway, first as a research technician and then as a graduate student, that informs my current work. First and foremost, I learned a tremendous amount about being a good naturalist and allowing observations of the natural world to shape my research questions. I also learned how to develop and carry out an independent research project and how to make my research meaningful to resource managers and practitioners. These skills have benefitted me tremendously, no matter in what ecosystem or country I am working.
What is one fond memory you have of your time at Ichauway?
I have so many wonderful memories of my time at Ichauway… wading through cypress wetlands at night looking for the golden glow of a gator eye, floating down the Flint River in a canoe and sleeping on a sandbar, snorkeling the Ichauwaynochaway Creek looking for turtles, and sharing these experiences with the many lifelong friends that I made there.