Institute for Conservation Research 2011 Summer Fellows
We believe strongly in connecting people with the wonders of the natural world in order to make a difference for conservation. One way we achieve this goal is by providing unique, hands-on conservation research experiences that fully engage students, drive their sense of curiosity, and inspire them to discover new conservation solutions. Each summer we host student fellows from across the country at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. This summer we had the privilege of working with 15 exceptional students, all of whom were supported by the equally exceptional generosity of some very special donors. For more information about this unique program, please visit us at sandiegozooglobal.org/icr.
Applied Animal Ecology
Matthew Golembeski, University of California, Los Angeles, Frabotta Endowed Fellow
Matthew is studying strategies for deterring predators of the endangered Stephen’s kangaroo rat to increase survival rate of translocated individuals.
Kira Marshall, Colorado State University, James and Kathryn Colachis Fellow
Kira is translocating and observing California ground squirrels in an effort to create and sustain suitable habitat for the burrowing owl.
Stephanie Wakeling, University of Nevada, Reno, Weedon Endowed Fellow
Stephanie is working on identifying individual mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles to understand more about this critical life stage.
Applied Plant Ecology
Scott Gressard, University of California, San Diego, Sefton Endowed Fellow
Scott is researching cactus wren nesting behavior and surrounding habitat so that they can be successfully established in southern California fire restoration sites.
Doug Wylie, San Diego State University, Foundation for Sustainability & Innovation Fellow
Doug’s is assessing habitat suitability for the coastal cactus wrens in the San Pasqual Valley to determine vegetation preferences for nesting.
Amelia Meier, University of California, Berkeley, Neeper Endowed Fellow
Amelia is studying scent preference in lions, tigers, and cheetahs for animal welfare and enrichment purposes.
Erika Norton, University of Connecticut, Bonner Endowed Fellow
Erika is studying the vocal behavior of the coastal cactus wren to aid in monitoring and conservation efforts for this California species of special concern.
Jonathan Ismail, Grinnell College, Weedon Endowed Fellow
Jonathan is developing a curriculum module on the mountain yellow-legged frog reintroduction program and conducting research the relationship between human emotions and animal behavior.
Samantha Young, San Diego State University, Helm Fund Summer Fellow
Samantha is building interactive lessons focused on reconstructing phylogeny, biomimicry, evolution, and the Hawaiian bird conservation program.
Margot Brandt, Wake Forest University, Frye Endowed Fellow
Margot is using mitochondrial DNA sequencing and karyotype analysis to determine whether gazelles at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are hybrids or pure Soemmerring’s gazelles.
Elizabeth Shattuck, Michigan State University, Zable Fellow
Elizabeth is utilizing genetic relationships and extinction probabilities to inform managers about conservation priorities for species in the bovidae and cervidae families.
Kaitlin Croyle, University of Maryland, Sefton Endowed Fellow
Kaitlin is exploring new methods of ovarian tissue vitrification with coyote, dog, and cat ovaries in order to optimize assisted reproduction techniques by improving the preserved quality of ovarian tissues in the Frozen Zoo.
Rachel Gerrard, Missouri State University, Friedhofer Fellow
Rachel is studying gene expression in giant panda vaginal cells to detect patterns of expression during the estrus cycle.
Wildlife Disease Labs
Yukwah “Jenny” Kwok, University of Pennsylvania, Sefton Endowed Fellow and Matthew Starr, University of Arizona, Friedhofer Fellow
Matt and Jenny are trapping mosquitoes and testing them for different diseases, including West Nile Virus and avian malaria and using molecular techniques to determine the species upon which the mosquitoes are feeding.