UF/IFAS Programs & Projects

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative

Gradudate Student Mentors

Nichole Bishop, University of Florida

Nichole is currently working on her PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master of Science in Biology, all from the University of North Florida.

Nichole believes that trans-disciplinary approaches to current and novel problems are important in that they are informed by multiple frameworks. This approach is especially important in environmental conservation because social and cultural dynamics, both temporally and spatially, cannot be ignored if successful practices are to be implemented. The individuals of a community and their knowledge and cooperation are the best agents of positive change.

A few of Nichole’s research interests are the effects of human-dominated environments on animals (specifically reptiles), management of exotic and/or invasive species, habitat/resource selection by animals, and citizen-based environmental and wildlife monitoring programs.  

Crystal Lee Pow, North Carolina State University

Crystal Lee Pow is an Environmental Toxicology PhD student in Seth Kullman's Lab at NC State University. She received her BS in Biological Sciences and minors of Chemistry and Environmental Science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh,  PA in the spring of 2010. Originally from Montclair, NC, Crystal has had a wide range of research experiences. Her first undergrad summer was spent in a molecular biology lab working on various projects. The next summer Crystal worked at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center for a summer,  where she collected and analyzed water samples along transects of a brackish marsh on the western Chesapeake Bay. The bulk of her research was spent characterizing dye activating single chain variable fragment antibody clones,  for two years in a joint project with a molecular biology lab and an organic chemistry lab. Crystal joined the Kullman Lab in 2011  and is a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Deans Graduate Research Assistantship recipient. Crystal’s research project is to understand the impact of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) on North Carolina fisheries.  Studies have demonstrated that exposure to estrogenic compounds can lead to the feminization of male fish and in a recent nationwide survey,  NC’s Pee Dee River was implicated for having the highest rate of intersex largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). In a joint project with the Fisheries Ecology and Aquatic Science (FEAS) lab (http://www.ncsu.edu/project/fish-lab/) of NC State,  Crystal’s job is to do a statewide assessment of intersex fish and the presence of EDCs in NC.

Adriane Gill, North Carolina State University

Adriane is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University.  Adriane grew up in Philadelphia, PA.  She moved to North Carolina in 2006 and earned her B.S. in Natural Resources with a Marine and Coastal Concentration from State.  Adriane's current research is looking at the physiological effects on southern flounder cultured in different water conditions.  When Adriane is not at the hatchery taking care of her fish, she can be found playing billiards, taking her dog to the dog park, or exploring the Raleigh area.
(Gill has video) 

Roy Ulibarri, University of Arizona

Roy Ulibarri received a BS in Zoology with a minor in Botany from Western New Mexico University. Having worked his summer seasons with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife on Apache trout recovery and non native species removal he decided to pursue a MS in fish conservation and management at the University of Arizona. Roy's work is focused on determining suitable and preferred habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker. There is not much known about the ecological requirements of the Zuni bluehead sucker. Roy will be developing habitat criteria for Zuni bluehead sucker to improve the ability of the FWS and others to conserve the species, and help prevent losses due to inadequate information.

Christina Perez, University of Arizona

I grew up in a small town in southern New Mexico. Growing up I enjoyed many activities such as hiking, fishing, and playing soccer. I received my B.S. in Forest Wildlife with a minor in chemistry from Western New Mexico in the spring of 2011. I worked my first fishery and wildlife job the summer of 2010 for the Forest Service in the Gila National Forest. My duties for this job included doing non-native fish removal and doing visual surveys for Narrow-headed garter snakes.  The summer of 2011 I accepted an SCA (Student Conservation Association) internship in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula locating suitable habitats for juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon. Following this I have worked as a seasonal fisheries technician with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Meeker, Colorado and in Vernal, Utah, for the Utah Division of Natural Resources. In both of these positions gained valuable experience as an integral part of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program doing non-native fish removal in the Yampa River and Green River. I have worked with sport fish and may endangered fish and have experienced many sampling methods in streams, large rivers, floodplains, lakes, and large reservoirs.

The fall of 2013 I accepted a position as a MS candidate within the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. My project will entail working on large reservoirs and small lakes in Arizona collecting data using AFS standard methods (boat electrofishing and gill netting) and collecting water samples containing eDNA (environmental DNA). For this study we aim to determine if there is a relationship between eDNA and traditional sampling techniques to estimate fish abundance and species presence.

Elizabeth Braker, University of Idaho

I consider Lewiston, Idaho to be my hometown & I'm a 2005 U.S. Coast Guard Academy Graduate, receiving a B. S. in Marine & Environmental Science and accepting a commission in the U.S. Coast Guard. After serving two years onboard a CG cutter & three years at an office assignment, I took a sabbatical and joined the Peace Corps. I served two years as an Environmental Education & Community Outreach Volunteer in Mexico. My experience in Mexico inspired me to continue my education and expand my knowledge of environmental science and environmental issues. As a student in the Professional Science Master's Program in Ecohydrological Science and Management, I hope to prepare for a career in the cultural issues of conservation work in the international context. In addition to my studies, I'm excited to be a part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program @ UI as the Graduate Student Mentor.

Cat Sun, Cornell University

Catherine Sun is a PhD student in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, and a student in the  New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (USGS). She studies the spatial and genetic patterns of wildlife populations, applying spatial capture-recapture models with non-invasively collected genetic samples. She currently studies the growing black bear population in New York. Cat earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology from University of Delaware in 2010, whereupon she wanted to pursue a career in wildlife ecology and conservation. She received her Masters Degree in Natural Resources from Cornell in 2014. Her career goals include wildlife research and outreach. She is originally from Delaware. 

Cat is a 2011 Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, and excited to work with this year's Doris Duke Conservation Scholars.
(Sun has video)


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