2020 UNDERGRADUATE HONORARIA AWARDS
Ananth Miller-Murthy is an undergraduate student at Yale University pursuing a B.S. in mathematics while taking many classes in ecology and evolutionary biology. Since middle school he has spent much of his free time looking for different species of reptiles and amphibians in the wild, and observing other animals and plants. Through this hobby he became interested in ecology and evolutionary biology. I am currently performing research on the taxonomy of treeshrews in southeast Asia under the guidance of Dr. Eric Sargis (Yale) and Neal Woodmann (USGS). During the summer of 2019 he spent a month collecting morphometric data on specimens of the lesser treeshrew (Tupaia minor) at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. He then analyzed this data to look for patterns and morphological differences between the populations found on different islands and areas of mainland southeast Asia. His work aims to inform our understanding of the species’ phylogeny, potentially leading to modifications of the species- and subspecies-level taxonomy of lesser treeshrews, which could have implications for conservation. Outside of mammal research, he works at the Peabody Museum of Natural History in preparing specimens and organizing the collections, and he submits observations of reptiles and amphibians in my home state of Kentucky to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. After graduating from Yale, he is strongly considering studying evolutionary biology in graduate school.
Sandy Slovikosky completed her Bachelor’s degree within the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, studying Wildlife Conservation and Management. Born in Germany and raised bilingual, she grew up with an awareness of the importance of international immersion. Her love of wildlife was also present from the beginning, and she knew early on that she wanted to work in conservation. Combining her interest in international cultures and languages with her passion for wildlife gave rise to the person she is today. Sandy conducted her first wildlife research project in high school under the guidance of Dr. Melanie Culver, during which she examined an urban development’s effects on wildlife via a camera trap study. She went on to present her work at the local and state science fairs. Her research endeavors continued during her undergraduate years, when she worked as a research assistant in Dr. John Koprowski’s Conservation Research Laboratory. Her senior project consisted of studying Mexican woodrat movement over burned patches on Mt. Graham in southeastern Arizona through the UA’s Undergraduate Biology Research Program, with the intent of understanding how species respond to disturbances. Several additional highlights from her undergraduate years included interning in South Africa with a wildlife monitoring group, and serving as president of the UA Fish and Wildlife Society. Sandy’s long-term goal is to become a research scientist studying endangered species internationally to enhance human-wildlife coexistence, and she is currently pursuing this goal as a Master’s student at SUNY ESF. Most importantly, Sandy is thankful for her exceptional lab group and could not be more grateful to her department at the University of Arizona, as well as ASM, TWS, and AFS, for providing her with numerous opportunities to grow professionally and personally!
2021 UNDERGRADUATE HONORARIA AWARDS
Victoria Aguilar is finishing her bachelor’s degree in Biology at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León in México. She is passionate about wildlife, likes to explore, and has, for a long time being interested in mammals. Victoria has taken leadership roles as being president of the Student Association of Biologist (ASEBIO), she has organized different events like the symposium program “Biodiversity of Northeast Mexico”, workshops, talks, and volunteering in ecological parks. Since the beginning of her career, she wanted to become a mammologist so she started to attend meetings, workshops, and involving in the mammal’s laboratory of her school. Thanks to that, she became to be interested in wildlife management, scientific collections, biography, geographic information system, and especially on rare species. Her thesis focused on using Ecological Niche Methods (ENM) to modeling the potential distribution of the relict shrew Sorex milleri using small numbers of records and applying an exhaustive calibration under the guidance of Dr. Evelyn Rios, she also worked on projects about mammals collections and roadkill effects. Victoria goal is to become a researcher about ecology and biogeography of endemic species, she is currently searching for master’s programs to continue with her career.
Austin Nash is a Bachelor’s/Master’s accelerated student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a certificate in GIS and computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Austin received his Bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude this spring and is continuing with his Master’s degree this fall, which he anticipates to complete in spring 2022. Austin’s career in mammalogy began when he was sixteen with the Mammal Lab at CSULB under Dr. Ted Stankowich conducting urban coyote surveys. After enrolling at CU Boulder, Austin joined the McCain Mountain Lab under PI Dr. Christy McCain. In the McCain lab, Austin runs two research projects related to how climate change influences the persistence of wildlife species. Firstly, Austin studies how the spatial arrangement of microclimates can create areas of more suitable conditions that are potentially only accessible to small-bodied mammals. Secondly, Austin is studying how changing climate and land use influence the persistence of Wyoming ground squirrel populations using occupancy and species distribution modeling. He is currently resurveying historical localities of Wyoming ground squirrels across Colorado and Wyoming. Also, Austin recently published his undergraduate honors thesis exploring how health influences alarm calling in yellow-bellied marmots (https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoaa020) in collaboration with the Blumstein Lab at UCLA. After graduating from the EBIO Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s program, Austin wishes to pursue a career as a research ecologist at a federal agency or in academia. He hopes to both generate ecological knowledge and inform the management of America’s public lands that have been a source of continuous wonder and growth for him throughout his life. Austin plans to pursue a Ph.D. at the intersection of behavioral and landscape ecology, to equip managers with an improved understanding of how animal behavior impacts wildlife conservation across landscapes in an era of rapid environmental change.