Consuelo de la Nieves Alarcon Rodriguez, Watling Lab
I received my B.S in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Perú. As an undergraduate, I was involved in several herpetological research projects in the Peruvian rainforest and the high Andes. My undergraduate research focused on the phylogeny of a false coral snake genus based on morphological data. For my master’s thesis, I am modeling the distribution of snakes of the Tribe Pseudoboini in current climatic conditions and paleoclimates. The aim is to identify the possible refugia of snakes diversity and, therefore, to understand how these patterns of distribution vary in different ecological groups as diet specialization and microhabitat use. This research is being advised by Dr. James Watling.
Noemi Becza, Saporito Lab
I graduated from John Carroll University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate, I worked in the Saporito Lab, taking care of the lab animals and working with frog alkaloids under JCU’s S.U.R.F. program. I continue to work with Dr. Saporito for my master’s thesis to study the potential of alkaloids to inhibit growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Olivia Brooks, Saporito Lab
I graduated from Ohio University with my B.S. in wildlife and conservation biology in 2018. My undergraduate research focused on the impacts of abandoned crabbing and fishing gear on the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). As a member of Dr. Saporito’s lab, I plan to study the maternal provisioning of alkaloids in dendrobatid frogs.
Bryant Brumbill, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology from Georgia Southern University in 2017. As an undergraduate, I was involved in two projects including investigation of potential horizontal transfer of Wolbachia (endosymbiotic bacteria) between species of widow spider and an eggsac parasitoid wasp and freshwater invertebrate monitoring/leaf pack decomposition study. I also partook in an REU in Puerto Rico where my mentors and I worked to quantify metrics of orb-weaving spider webs using imageJ and compare between species. As a member of theAnthony/Hickerson lab at John Carroll University, my thesis research investigates how introduced earthworms affect red-backed salamanders through alteration of microhabitat and available prey.
Zachary Lange, Watling Lab
I received my B.A. in Environmental Science from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2012. For my undergraduate thesis I studied the relationship of occupancy and abundance to breeding site matrix permeability for Taricha granulosa in western Oregon. Since then I have conducted fieldwork across the U.S. and South America, further refining my research interests along the way. As a member of the Watling Lab, I plan to study landscape ecology and thermal biology as they relate to neotropical amphibians.
Jose Alberto Martinez-Yerena, Johansen Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2016. Through my time as an undergrad i worked on projects focused in the description of the cyanoprokariotes’ diversity in marine intertidal environments at Dr. Hilda Leon’s marine phycology lab. Currently i am working under the tutelage Dr. Johansen to support in the construction of the phylogeny of the marine Rivulariaceae.
Osmary Medina Baez, Watling Lab
I received my B. S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in 2017. As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to conduct research related to movement and habitat distribution of the invasive Boa constrictors in Puerto Rico. As an REU student at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia, I studied critical thermal limits in red-backed salamanders. I will be working on my thesis project as a member of Dr. James Watling’s research laboratory studying thermal physiology of salamanders found in Colombia.
Abigail Perrino, Drenovsky Lab
I received my B. A. in Biology in 2010 from Judson University. Since then I have done botanical studies and wetland surveys for both research and regulatory purposes for several organizations across the Midwest. I am excited to be a part of the Drenovsky lab, studying plant ecology.
Nelson Rivera, Saporito Lab
I graduated from Siena College in 2016 with a B.S. in biology. As an undergraduate I worked in Costa Rica mapping out the community structure of glassfrogs at the landscape scale. For my masters thesis, I will be working under Dr. Ralph Saporito studying the differences in chemical defense between dorsal and ventral skin in Dendrobates auratus as well as across a size range.
Adam Ruka, Johansen Lab
I graduated last Spring from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a B.S. in Biology. During my undergraduate, I studied the effect of fire upon bryophyte communities and nutrient gradients in algae communities. I am working in Dr. Johansen’s lab to assess the phycological health of Lake George in the New York Adirondacks.
Jessica Ryan, Anthony-Hickerson Lab
I received my B.S. in Biology (Emphasis in Ecology and Biodiversity) from Humboldt State University in 2018. As an undergraduate, I spent two summers with the Clark lab at San Diego State University studying the predator-prey interactions of Sidewinder rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerastes) and Desert kangaroo rats (Dipodomys deserti). At John Carroll, I will be working in the Anthony/Hickerson lab studying Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). I am very interested in predator-prey interactions from my previous research experience and behavioral ecology in general and hope to study some aspect of P. cinereus’ behavior in relation to its polymorphic color patterns and intraspecific interactions.
Derek Thiry, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I received my B.S. in Organismal Biology from Kent State University in 2015. Afterwards, I worked at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, assisting in research and natural resource management projects. Here at John Carroll, I am researching the anti-predator behaviors of the erythristic morph of the Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) in the Anthony/Hickerson lab.
Courney Thomas, Anthony/Hickerson Lab
I earned my BS/BA degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from The Evergreen State College. As an undergraduate, I concentrated on the ecology and natural history of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on phenotypic plasticity within the salamander family Dicamptodontidae. I’ve had the opportunity to study diverse herpetofauna in a variety of ecosystems as a research assistant since I graduated, and I am excited to return to academia under the advisement of Dr. Cari Hickerson and Dr. Carl Anthony. I will be joining their ongoing investigation of a polymorphic population of Plethodon cinereus in fall 2018.
Andrew Veselka, Watling Lab
I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Dickinson College in 2015. Since then I have tried to work in as many areas of wildlife ecology as possible. These include tracking king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah) for a local NGO in Northeast Thailand to better understand their life history, assisting The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/DC office in land management, and surveying herpetofauna around the Santa Monica National Recreation Area to understand how they respond to human land use changes. Working in the Watling lab, I plan to research the thermal effects that human development has on herpetofaunal communities.