Congratulations to Robert Ang'ila on the successful defense of his MSc thesis. Robert has pioneered important work at the Kenya ForestGEO site located at Mpala Research Centre, where he ran camera traps and conducted vegetation surveys to understand how large mammalian herbivores interact with their physical and biotic environments. Robert's insightful thesis results will have a mark on the field and launch him forward in his career as a wildlife conservation researcher. Congratulations Robert!!
Under the leadership of Colin Donihue and a team of outstanding undergraduate researchers -- including Caroline Dressler, Andy Luo, Fabiola Meyer-Garza, and Thomas Patti -- our first colony of Italian Wall Lizards has arrived at Brown! Representing populations from Pennsylvania, New York, and Boston, these non-native lizards will help us understand how their populations are evolving and fitting into our local (and much colder!) environments. Super excited to see what this dream team discovers in the year ahead!
Congratulations to Dr. Ezequiel Vanderhoeven for your Rufford Foundation Grant! Ezequiel plans to study infectious diseases circulating in populations of armadillo species native to the Argentinian Chaco. The goal of the study is to understand how diseases impact populations of these species for the benefit of conservation and to support local governments and communities in the adoption of environmental practices that minimize the risk of spillover. It is an extremely important and ambitious project. The Rufford award not only provides crucial financial support, but also represents a valuable endorsement of the work from a leading international authority on applied conservation biology.
A very warm (belated) welcome to Ian Maywar, who has joined us as a laboratory research assistant. Ian has the coolest job in the country and we are unbelievably welcome to have him join us. Ian hails from Skidmore College, where he pursued both biology and mathematics; he excels in both. Ian's undergraduate thesis focused on the molecular ecology of avian malaria. In our lab, Ian is already leading some crucial molecular analyses of plant genetics, wildlife diets, and microbiomes that will directly inform NSF funded research projects and conservation.