I am originally from a rural town in South Dakota where the vast nature surrounding our home instilled within me a fascination with wildlife and the role that humans play in a natural landscape. Later, I sought a change of scenery and moved to California where I received my B.A. in Biological Anthropology in 2014 from the University of California, San Diego. As an undergrad I studied abroad in Kenya for a summer with the Rutger’s University Primate Behavior, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School. It was in Kenya, where I first developed a passion for nutritional ecology and collecting behavioral data.
In 2016, I completed my M.A. in Biology from Miami University where I focused on assessing and developing protocol for the prevention of interspecies disease transmission as a conservation strategy for nonhuman primates. Extending this work led me back to Kenya as well as to Malaysian Borneo to work with local people on community-driven conservation initiatives and to focus on the human dimensions of conservation. Afterward, I worked as a Research Coordinator for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research which spurred intrigue in understanding the implications and role of captive management in conservation. This interest coupled with my regard for the human aspect of conservation research has led me to the University of Georgia.
My primary areas of research interest include primate behavioral ecology, ethology, captive welfare and management of nonhuman primates, animal nutrition, and conservation. I would like to focus my time at UGA on understanding the implications of nutrition and metabolic health on captive ape welfare and management. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Salmi in the Primate Behavioral Ecology Lab and am excited to learn from the range of staff expertise within the Anthropology Department.