My diversity of field sites
“All I’m armed with is research.”
September 2019 - Present
I am a Master's student in the Baum lab at the University of Victoria. I am using small photoquadrats to examine coral communities on Kiritimati Island. I am examining how local human disturbance and global thermal stressor caused by the 2015-2016 El Niño event have affected coral beta diversity.
South African Shark Conservancy
July 2019 - August 2019
I had the opportunity to spend a month in Hermanus, South Africa as an intern with the South African Shark Conservancy. I learned so much about working in marine systems and with catsharks and shysharks. I analyzed BRUV (baited remote underwater videos), measured and tagged sharks as well as learned many shark surveying techniques. I also had the opportunity to further develop my skills as a team leader and scientific research skills.
May 2018 - July 2019
As a researcher in Dr. Robert Barclay’s Lab, I worked in the parks within Calgary as well as in Kananaskis every night that had adequate weather and while in Belize on a school trip, collecting data. I examined the diet of the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the Long-Eared Bat (Myotis evotis), as well as wing morphology differences between sexes and varying foraging styles. Using mist nets and harp traps to catch bats, I took forearm, weight, sex, reproductive status, and age for each bat caught, and some bat were flown in a flight cage to try to determine how bats catch spiders. Additionally, wing photos were taken in order to analyze the amount of sexual dimorphism that occurs in bats of various foraging styles. Additionally, I was able to train the next set of researchers all about how to mist net for bats, identify different species, and how to plan their field season.
Sept 2018 - April 2019
I began working with Dr. Jessica Theodor's lab after my summer field season with Dr. Barclay. I took wing photos with working with Dr. Barclay, in order to analyze the amount of sexual dimorphism that occurs in bats of various foraging styles using geometric morphometrics under the guidance of Dr. Theodor. I examined sexual dimorphism within bat species, as female bats increase body mass by 20-30% during pregnancy resulting in larger female than male bats. This increase in female body mass should cause females to have different wing shapes to compensate for an increased body mass during the year and I am examining if there are differences in the amount of sexual dimorphism based on the foraging style of each species as wing shape will also affect the maneuverability of the bats.
I was able to participate in the Biodiversity and Conservation in Belize course through the University of Calgary during my undergraduate career. I was able to conduct research in tropical environments and learn about the different issues that tropical environments are facing. Belize was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Hopefully, I will be able to go back one day.
May 2017 - Aug 2017
I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Leland Jackson’s Lab. We studied the effects of wastewater on zooplankton biomass in aquatic ecosystems and worked at Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) at the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in the experimental streams. I performed chlorophyll pigment and ash-free dry mass analyses on biofilm collections as well as collecting water and depth samples in small southern Albertan lakes. Water samples were analyzed back in the lab for total suspended solids, chlorophyll content, phosphorus content, and zooplankton density, and community composition. I also had the opportunity to lead day camp activities where I taught children about aquatic invertebrate diversity in Calgary.
During my undergraduate degree, I was able to participate in the Biodiversity of Seaweeds course at Bamfield Marine Sciences Center. I was able to explore and come to love the diverse landscape that is present on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is here that I fell in love with kelp and marine ecology, and is what fuelled my pursuit of a marine ecology Master's program.
As part of the ecology program at the University of Calgary, there is a field course Ecol 413 which takes place out at the Barrier Lake Biogeoscience Institute. Through this course, I was introduced to many terrestrial and aquatic field research techniques and was given the time to improve my project design, scientific writing and presentation skills. This course was so much fun and allowed me to make many friendships that will last for many years to come with many wonderful ecologists.
May 2016 - July 2016
I worked as a research assistant with Dr. Kathy Martin’s Ph.D. student Devin de Zwaan. The work was located on the Hudson’s Bay Mountain, just outside Smithers, BC, where I spent over 600 hours working in the subalpine. We studied the effects of predation on the nestling development of the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and I assisted with banding and measuring nestlings, setting up and running predation experiments and observing the bird population behavior. We also simulated increases in predation using fox and raven models accompanied by soundtracks and collected last season’s geo-locators along with distributing new geo-locators to provide insight into the migration patterns of these birds.