I invite students that want to learn moderns skills and technique to work with wildlife to join my lab. You do not have to be from UNT or from a specific program to learn the craft of research. Anybody can learn it! Contact me if you want to learn more. Next, you can find current and past students that worked as part of my lab.

Xenabeth Lazaro (Undergraduate, University of Florida, 2018-2020). Xena studied the regeneration capabilities of bryophytes found in the feces of Upland Geese and White-bellied Seedsnipes, exploring the potential dispersal of mosses by these birds in the Cape Horn Region. She is working as a technician studying the acoustics of the endangered Indiana bat in Missouri. She hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in bat behavior and ecology in the upcoming year. 

Erin Butikofer (Undergraduate, Utah State University, 2018-2019). Erin helped tracking unleashed cats on Navarino Island with collar cameras. This was under an IRES-NSF grant in collaboration with Dr. Elke Schuttler to understand the roaming behavior and owners bond on pet cats in Puerto Williams and how this may affect their impact on wildlife.

Michael Robertson (Undergraduate, University of North Texas, 2017-2020). Mike studied geolocation tracking on small birds to determine their migratory  flight path. As part of an IRES NSF grant, he worked alongside Nicholas Russo, publishing two papers on bryophyte and tardigrade dispersal by herbivorous birds on Navarino Island, southernmost Chile. Michael is working as an information security analyst and is pursuing a graduate degree in ecological science and sustainability.

Nicholas Russo (Undergraduate, University of Connecticut, 2017-2020). Nick studied the consumption of mosses by Upland Geese and White-bellied Seedsnipes and the potential for these species to disperse mosses in the Cape Horn region. He incidentally discovered tardigrades inhabiting the feces of White-bellied Seedsnipe. Nick is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles and researching effects of forest structure on the movements of seed-dispersing birds in Central African rainforests.

Former Intern Students

Natalia Rojas (Undergraduate, Environmental Engineering, Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile, 2019).  She is studying the impacts of pet cats on the critically endangered Juan Fernandez Firecrown (Sephanoides fernandensis). Natalia is tracking cats with neck-cameras and interviewing the cats owners on Robinson Crusoe Island, off the coast of Chile. The hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers in town, where they are killed by the cats.

Emma Christopher (Undergraduate, University of North Texas, 2019). Emma researched tardigrades by studying samples collected from Chile. Each specimen was photographed in order to identify the species and genus. Samples were organized by locality, substrate, and microhabitat. Emma is pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology and her future goal is to become a wildlife veterinarian.

Paris Fralin (Undergraduate, University of North Texas, 2020). Paris was exploring options to work in the field of ecology and wildlife conservation. She assisted with an on-line literary review. Paris refocused her passion for protecting wildlife towards hands-on experiences. She plans to get more involved in local wildlife management and restoration projects through internships and volunteerism.

Farah Mirza (Undergraduate, University of North Texas, 2019). Farah assisted with processing the tardigrade samples from Chile. She acquired new knowledge about tardigrades and gained experience by sorting the samples carefully. She also enjoyed tidying around the lab and being productive on my free time.

Akhila Damarla (2019). Akhila is a senior at Flower Mound High School, TX. She worked on Chilean tardigrades or “waterbears.” She enjoyed helping in the lab by sorting out, filing, sealing, and processing samples in a very organized and diligent manner. Akhila is currently working on a COVID-19 research paper with Kiran Godi MD, FASN, Kidney Care Specialist in PA. The research involves examining a new strain and the future of vaccine possibilities.

Dustin Ho (2019). He is a young TAMS student researching biogeographical and ecological questions on Neotropical forest tardigrades (also known as water bears) at different nested spatial scales. We are examining the abundance, diversity and body sizes of tardigrades on different microhabita­­­ts (mosses, lichens), substrates (ground, stone, bark), and forest types of a large sample collected from Chilean temperate rainforests. Dustin is involved in many steps of the research that is preparing him to craft the research cycle, along with developing skills for his future career as a conservation scientist.

Adithya Pillai (Undergraduate, University of North Texas, 2019). Addy helped with processing and sorting the tardigrade samples fromChile. 

Cristóbal Briceño, Ph.D. Cristóbal eaned his DVM degree at Universidad de Chile. He was the coordinator of my Darwin’s Fox Conservation Project during 2003-2004. Then, he completed his doctoral degree at University of Cambridge on conservation genetics and disease risk Chilean foxes. Cristóbal is currently a faculty at Universidad de Chile in Santiago. His interests are in pathogens and conservation of carnivores and on invasive species’ management.

  • Simón Castillo. 2014. Undergraduate, Universidad Católica de Chile. [Proposal for the development of special interests tourism in the Omora Ethnobotanical Park].
  • Kelli Moses. 2013. M.S. Environmental Sciences, University of North Texas. Ecotourism in the Omora Ethnobotanical Park.
  • Irán Román. 2012-2013. Undergraduate, University of North Texas. Behavioral changes of Magellanic Woodpeckers when approached by ecotourists.
  • Aquiles Gutiérrez. 2012-2013. M.S. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia. [Understanding the migratory cycle of the world’s southernmost forest migrant bird: the White-crested Elaenia (Elaenia albiceps)].