Graduate Students

Graduate Research Assistants Doctoral

EmilyBert

Emily Bertucci

Lab: Parrott
Odum School of Ecology

Interested in ecological physiology and investigating how the environment influences development, genetic modifications, and the health of organisms

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Samantha Bock

Lab: Parrott
Odum School of Ecology

Interested in understanding the mechanisms of temperature-dependent sex determination in alligators and the ways in which man-made stressors like climate change and environmental contaminants can possibly interact with these mechanisms to produce consequences at both the individual and population levels

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Sarah Chinn

Lab: Beasley
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Studying wild pig reproduction ecology by investigating survival, dispersal, resource-selection behavior and physiology

Denzell Cross awarded Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

"Athens, Ga. – Denzell Cross, a doctoral student in Integrative Conservation and Ecology at the University of Georgia, has been awarded a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. This highly selective award—approximately 65 were given in 2018—provides three years of support for study in pursuit of a doctorate. It recognizes academic excellence; promise for future achievement as a scholar, researcher and teacher in higher education; and capacity to use diversity as a resource to enrich the education of all students. Cross is the fourth UGA student to receive the award. 

Cross studies the impacts of landscape-scale disturbance on urban watersheds in Georgia using trait-based ecology and historical data. Specifically, he is exploring how the structure and function of communities of macroinvertebrates—small creatures like insects, crayfish and snails—living in streams and rivers change through time in response to increasing urbanization. 

His work will help inform management and conservation efforts in urban environments.

“Denzell has been such a fantastic addition to my lab and to the Odum community,” said Cross’s doctoral advisor Krista Capps, assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. “His proposed work has the potential to fundamentally change how we understand the long-term impacts of urbanization on animal communities. ​The recognition of Denzell’s potential as a scientist from the Ford Foundation is wonderful and exceptionally well-deserved.”

The doctoral program in Integrative Conservation combines disciplinary depth in one of four areas—anthropology, ecology, geography or forestry and natural resources—and collaboration across disciplines and fields of practice, with a focus on solving the complex conservation challenges of the future. 

“Denzell is a perfect example of the kind of scholar we hope to train in the Integrati

Denzell Cross

Lab: Capps
Odum School of Ecology

Research investigates the long-term and historical impacts of development and urbanization on aquatic insect communities in Atlanta, Georgia, including exploring functional responses of stream invertebrates using species’ traits in order to determine which traits allow stream biota to survive in urbanizing regions

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Pooja Gupta

Lab: Dharmarajan and Beasley 
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resouces

Broad research interests in disease ecology, evolution and wildlife conservation; a current focus on understanding the eco-evolutionary dynamics of avian malaria parasites in the Western Ghats sky-island, or mountain bird communities in India

David Haskins

David Haskins

Lab: Tuberville
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research focuses on the physiological effects of anthropogenic contaminants in freshwater turtles and snakes; interests include the influence of anthropogenic disturbances on wildlife, ecotoxicology; life history and evolution of herpetofauna, and wildlife conservation

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Bradley Kubecka, AWB®

Lab: Martin
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research interests include upland game bird ecology, rangeland ecology, and wildlife parasitology; primary research focus is roosting behavior of northern bobwhite broods and using molecular techniques to elucidate the diets of bobwhite chicks

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Chris Leaphart

Lab: Beasley
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Investigating the effects of heavy metal contamination on the health, reproduction, and survival of North American waterfowl; research interests include wildlife disease ecology, ecotoxicology, immunology, physiology, and reproductive ecology

 

Cara Love

Lab: Lance
Odum School of Ecology

Investigating the influence of contaminated environments on source-sink dynamics in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Belarus and on the Savannah River Site; other areas of investigation include molecular ecology, landscape ecology, disease ecology, and animal behavior and evolution

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Jennifer McDaniel

Lab: Aubrey
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Broadly interested in forest ecology; current research focuses on fire ecology and tree physiology or the physiology of trees

Sarah Webster

Sarah Webster

Lab: Beasley
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Investigating coyote and gray fox spatial ecology on the Savannah River Site

Seth Younger

Lab: Aubrey
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research interest in forest hydrology; research focuses on understanding water use and water sources for fast growing bioenergy crops

Graduate Research Assistants Masters

David Bernasconi

Lab: Dharmarajan and Beasley
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Currently studying the competition between Virginia opossums and raccoons for rabies vaccination bait as well as opossum spatial ecology and demography; interested in pursuing projects that provide a low-cost non-invasive means to have the greatest immediate impact on conservation and management efforts

 

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Miranda Butler-Valverde

Lab: Beasley
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Investigating the efficiency and dynamics of carrion removal within the southeastern United States; research interests include wildlife damage management, species interactions, nutrient cycling and conservation biology

Carmen Candal

Carmen Candal

Lab: Tuberville
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Interested in wildlife conservation and behavioral ecology; research investigates survival, movement, and the physiological condition of head-started Mojave desert tortoises

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Wesley Dixon

Lab: Dharmarajan and Rhodes
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Passionate about wildlife conservation and education; current research focuses on a collaborative project with the USDA estimating raccoon densities with camera traps

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Christine Fallon

Lab: Capps
Odum School of Ecology

Studying how intermittency shapes aquatic communities and food web dynamics of secondary consumer fishes in streams

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Ellie Fowler

Lab: Aubrey
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Interests include disturbance ecology, ecophysiology or the physiology of trees, and forest restoration; research will focus on the relationship between canopy complexity and physiological function with ecosystem resilience within old-growth long-leaf pine ecosystems

Craig Marshall

Lab: Martin
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Investigating gopher tortoise ecology in pine production forests of the Southeastern United States

 

Erik Neff

Erik Neff

Lab: Beasley and Dharmarajan
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Investigating the effect/trade-off of parasite infection and heavy metal contamination on fitness, behavior, vector competence; resistance and tolerance of yellow fever mosquitoes; research interests: disease ecology and evolution

 

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Scott Oswald

Lab: Aubrey
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research interests are primarily in plant physiology and ecology as well as the use of mathematical modeling to study patterns in plant physiology

 

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Amelia Russell

Labs: Tuberville and Abrams

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research assesses the effects of age, size, and stress on post-release fidelity and survival of head-started gopher tortoises

 

Shelby Simons

Lab: Martin
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Conservation management, declining species, and movement ecology; research will focus on translocated northern bobwhite from private to public land (Apalachicola National Forest) and assess movement, habitat use and site fidelity

 

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Samantha Siragusa

Lab: Abrams
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Interested in sustainable development and conservation management; currently interning in the Office of Sustainability as the Chew Crew intern and working on ecological restoration with prescribed grazing

 

Ream Thomas

Lab: Aubrey
 Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Research interests include forestry, ecology and prescribed fire management; research will focus on energy dose thresholds for tree stem mortality

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Cody Tisdale

Labs: Beasley and Martin

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Interested in anthropogenic effects on the demographics of various species; currently researching heavy metal contamination in wild turkeys as well as differences in the species survival across the numerous pressures of hunting

 

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Joseph Treichler

Labs: Beasley

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Interested in conservation and management of game species, human-wildlife conflicts, and the effects of invasive species; currently studying the impacts of wild pigs on row crop agriculture and the surrounding native ecosystem