2018-2019 Interns


Sujay Singh

Major: Biology            Mentor: Dr. Mariana Mateossujay_S.jpg

Howdy! My name is Sujay Singh and I’m a Junior Biology major with a  minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. I have always been intrigued by the natural world around me, and want to help preserve this world-whether it be by working from a lab or working in the field. I’m currently working under the guidance of Dr. Mariana Mateos, and will be conducting research into the population genetics of the Blue Crab, and the possible implications on Blue Crab fishery management should there be sufficient genetic divergence among Blue Crabs from different locations. I hope that with the help of this program, I will be able to pursue a career in wildlife/conservation biology and make a positive impact on the natural world that I have come to love.

Sophia Torres 

Major: Biomedical Science  Mentor: Dr. Lee Fitzgeraldsophia.jpg

My name is Sophia Torres and I am a Junior Biomedical Sciences major from Mansfield, Texas. I am very exited to be participating in the ABS Conservation Scholars Program because it will allow me to explore opportunities that haven’t been offered to me before. For my project, I will be studying the effects of light pollution on turtles based on varying wavelengths of light. This will help me build the foundation for future projects I may do. I plan to do an internship that has an emphasis on both conservation and wildlife medicine. This opportunity will allow me to explore the option of wildlife medicine by learning and caring for different species of animals. After graduation, my goal is to go to vet school.

Caleb Blanton

Major: Biomedical Science  Mentor: Dr. Joshuah Perkincaleb.jpg

Howdy, my name is Caleb Blanton. I am a Senior Biomedical Science major at Texas A&M University. I am originally from Chicago, IL, but moved to San Antonio, TX, later with my family. I had planned on going to medical school originally, however I have decided to pursue my passion for aquatic life and conservation biology. I am working in the lab of Dr. Perkin researching the population densities of the Hypostomus Plecostomus catfish along the San Marcos River. I am also planning on testing the efficiency of the annual catfish spearing competition on those same populations via tagging. Finally I hope to locate where these catfish go to spawn in their fish spawning aggregates using passive integrated transponder tags. This will contribute to the ecological studies of other species effected by this catfish, as well as assist in diminishing their dense population in the river. I hope to gain experience in both freshwater and saltwater environments before attending Graduate school for Marine Science. I would like to get my PhD in conservation biology, and am considering getting a DVM for marine creatures. I hope to one day be able to help mitigate the ever growing environmental problems caused by humans and their effects on our oceans.


Ashley Ridlon

Major:  Entomology and Biomedical Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Donald Brightsmith

ashley.jpgMy name is Ashley Ridlon and I am a junior Entomology and Biomedical Sciences double major at Texas A&M University in College Station. I grew up in southern California before moving to Texas for high school, and now college. I was interested in conservation from a very young age and worked at a nature park in high school as well as at my local zoo. In my free time, I train service dogs for veterans and like to go hiking, fishing, and insect collecting. I have always had a desire to work with animals, and in my more recent years have been drawn towards avian health and aviculture in general. My future goals consist of pursing a DVM in exotic animals and working in conservation medicine. Through ABS Conservation Scholars Program, I will be working with egg loggers and monitoring and researching incubation of different birds under Dr. Donald Brightsmith. The goal of these egg loggers is to gather data on natural incubation patterns of birds so that those same conditions can be replicated in an artificial setting to help increase the hatch rates of endangered birds. I am very excited for this experience and look forward to the new adventures that await me!

Mariel Ortega

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences  Mentor: Dr. Jacquelyn Gracemariel.jpg

I am a sophomore Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences student who lives and breathes ornithology. My research focuses on the effects of pishing and playback, two common auditory techniques birders use to draw birds out into the open, on avian fitness. The use of pishing and playback has raised many concerns throughout the years, but very little research has addressed this. I hope that my study and every study I do in the future can fill these knowledge gaps and, thus, contribute to conservation.





Madison Wetterstroem

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sci  Mentor: Dr. Thomas Lachermadison.JPG

I am a senior Wildlife & Fisheries major from Sugar Land, TX with a specialization in ecology and conservation. I am working with Dr. Lacher’s lab as a certified regional and national assessor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This certification gives me the ability to assess species’ extinction risk through the application of IUCN Red List methodology and compilation of information specific to the species. For this semester, I have the opportunity to focus on a high priority conservation species and help develop a conservation plan. Through this program, I hope to apply the skills I have learned in the lab and in the classroom to a field based internship that also focuses on conservation outreach. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in conservation.

Zakary Derouen

Major: Ecological Restoration     Mentor: Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang


I am an Ecological Restoration major from Cedar Park, TX. I have been a researcher in the Ecological System Laboratory in the Wildlife & Fisheries Department since September 2017, where I have worked with Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Wang. In the past, my projects dealt with the range expansion of terrestrial invasive species and tick-borne diseases. Currently, I am working on my thesis for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program over an invasive coral, commonly known as the Orange Cup coral. I hope to pursue a career in coral reef restoration with the experience gained from my research, volunteer work, and future internships.

Marco Chacon

Major: Marine Biology     Mentor: Dr. Schultze

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Hello, my name is Marco. I am a senior Marine Biology major at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus. My project focuses on assessing trematode parasites in snails as a bioindicators for species richness of coastal birds. In my free time, I enjoy working out or watching movies.


Karleigh Vestal

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Science     Mentor: Dr. Mike Morrison


I am a senior Wildlife & Fisheries Science major with an emphasis on conservation biology and minoring in Geographical information Sciences and Technology. I will be conducting research under Dr. Morrison using GIS data to assess biodiversity and impacts on certain seabird species caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All birds but seabirds in particular are a great indicator species for environments and studying their numbers will create a good assessment on how well the land has recovered. Ornithology was never something I thought I would be interested in when I first enrolled at Texas A&M however after learning more about birds I really can appreciate how well-adapted they are and their evolutionary history. I can tell people that I study living, breathing dinosaurs and it’s true!! These days there’s nothing more satisfying to me than being able to identify a bird by its call. Thanks to the opportunity presented to me through this program I hope that it’s something I can enjoy for a long while!

Michelle Dziewit

Major: Marine Biology     Mentor: Dr. Liu

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Howdy! My name is Michelle Dziewit and I am a Senior at Texas A&M University of Galveston. I am majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Diving Technology and Methods. I lived in Michigan until I moved to Texas to pursue my dreams. My research project I am working on for the Conservation Scholars Program is how environmental factors impact the abundance of Ctenophores in Galveston Bay. I recently went to Mexico for a study abroad diving course and hope to continue to explore the world. My ultimate goal is to make our ocean environment a healthier and safer place above and below the surface. In my free time I love to be outdoors whether its relaxing in my backyard, on the beach, or exploring the underwater world while scuba diving.

Emily Parker

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Science     Mentor: Dr. Mike Morrison

Emily Parker.jpeg

Hello, my name is Emily Parker. I am a junior at Texas A&M University. Here I am currently studying to get a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Outside of academics, I enjoy spending time outdoors and experimenting with mixed media art projects.

Allison Hay

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Science     Mentor: Dr. Mike Morrison

Allison Hay.jpeg

Howdy, I am a sophomore Bioenvironmental Science and Wildlife and Fisheries Science student with a concentration in conservation. I love being outdoors and spend most of my free time scuba diving, and more recently I have gotten into caving! I look forward to dedicating my life to habitat and wildlife restoration while educating the public about wildlife conservation.

Sarah Bordelon

Major: Ocean and Coastal Resources  Mentor: Meri Davlasheridze

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Howdy! My name is Sarah Bordelon and I’m a senior sea aggie at our Galveston campus. I’ve always been interested in marine life but once I got to TAMUG I realized what a passion I have for marine resource management. My undergraduate research discusses how portions of FEMA disaster relief funding for hurricanes can be allocated toward preventative mitigation of wetlands as they are natural barrier that reduce storm damage. As I am hoping to enter the policy side of resource management, this research is a stepping stone to my graduate school interests. I’ve done some pretty cool things in my undergraduate career like studying tropical marine resources abroad in Turks and Caicos, working at Texas Parks and Wildlife as an Ecosystem Resources Program Intern and I am currently the microeconomics tutor at TAMUG. In my free time I like going to the beach, hanging out with my cat, or painting!

Reid Casey

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences   Mentor: Dr. Michael Morrison

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My name is Reid Casey and I am a sophomore Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences major from San Antonio Texas. I am very grateful towards to be a participant in the ABS Conservation Scholars program because of the great field work opportunities it can give. After interning at the San Antonio Zoo I became interested in Avian ecology and zoology and will be working in South Texas this summer on the East Foundation ranch assisting in studies on the impacts of various ranching techniques of birds and small mammals.