Past Interns

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Past Interns:


Loicka Baille

Major: Ocean Engineering  Mentor: Dr. John Niedzwecki

Loicka Baille photoMy name is Loicka Myriam Rita Baille. I’m junior at Texas A&M University, College Station, studying in Ocean Engineering and Wildlife and Fishery Sciences. I lived most of my life in France and then in Lebanon, before coming to the US for college. My passion for the water began at the age of eight when I started diving and hasn’t left me since. I’m amazed by the ocean’s capabilities and hope to work on utilizing its potential while protecting the marine ecosystems. Some of my field of interests are wave power, the ocean exploration and cleaning, and sea life bio-mimicking. For my ABS research, I’m working with Dr. Niedzwecki on the effect of modified underwater Savonius turbines on the surrounding ecosystems. The factors studied include noise pollution, physical threats, pressure change, and shearing stress. This research truly encompasses both my engineering and science backgrounds while potentially making significant impact on the wave energy field.

Matti Bradshaw


Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Thomas Lacher

My name is Matti Bradshaw and I am a Wildlife and Fisheries Science major at Texas A&M University. My research interests include working with bats and learning Springfield_2107__0071 (1)new techniques for monitoring biodiversity using acoustic monitoring. In the future, I would like to expand my knowledge related to global conservation topics and work alongside experts in the conservation field to improve the status of many at risk species. Through research and education, I would like to broaden my own understanding of conservation techniques and apply them to global situations

Katherine Carbajal

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang

Kathine CarbajalI am a senior Wildlife & Fisheries Science major from El Paso, TX. I have been a part of the Ecological System Laboratory in the Wildlife & Fisheries Department since July 2016, where I have been working with Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang. Previously I worked on a project that dealt with understanding the abiotic and biotic factors that shaped the coexistence of invasive species. Currently I am working on my thesis for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, which involves estimating the anthropogenic effects on the Florida manatee. I hope to pursue a career in conservation education with the help of the research and many opportunities I have experienced.

Danielle DeChellis

Major: Environmental Geoscience     Mentor: Dr. David Cairns

I am a junior from Houston, TX majoring in Environmental Geoscience and minoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. I have been passionate about the natural world ever since I was little, always finding wonder in the diverse abilities of organisms to interact with their habitat. College has helped me develop interests in a diversity of environmental topics, including ecology, conservation, wildlife biology, biogeography, sustainable practices, and in how global biogeochemical cycles tie everything on Earth together. Boreal forests and the arctic tundra are some of my favorite ecosystems to study, daniellepicalthough wetlands are also fascinating because I grew up in Houston surrounded by them and I have come to appreciate their incredible value to humans, biodiversity, and environmental health. For my research with ABS, I’m working with Dr. David Cairns in determining how and why coastal marsh grass assemblages have changed since 2010 along the Galveston Bay portion of the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain. I am curious if my results will indicate if recent flooding from Hurricane Harvey or any nearby human activities have affected the distribution of grass species and their associated ecosystem services as wetlands. After graduating from A&M, I plan on going to graduate school and to eventually pursue a career in ecology- or conservation-focused field work or research.

Samantha Heldman

Major: Biology     Mentor: Dr. William Rogers & Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang

Samantha Heldman photoHowdy! I am a senior Biology major from Frisco, TX with a strong passion for conservation biology and restoration ecology. Since Fall 2017 I have been conducting research with Dr. Rose Wang in the Ecological Systems Laboratory, focusing on the invasion potential of Triadica sebifera; an invasive tree species commonly known as Chinese Tallow that has been rapidly spreading up the southeast coast of the United States. Analysis of invasion potentials will hopefully allow me to identify potential determinants of invasion, quantify the relative importance of each factor, and provide valuable information upon which to base effective control strategies and mitigation plans. I’m very grateful to be a part of the ABS Conservation Scholars program and look forward to participating in an internship that will allow me to gain practical experience as a conservation scientist and do my part in protecting the wild places of the world for generations to come.

Dillon Jones

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Lee Fitzgerald

Dillon Jones photoI am a Senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Major at Texas A&M University doing Research with Dr. Lee Fitzgerald. I have worked on a variety of research projects including snake parasitology in Panama, the overlap between human music and animal communication, and acoustic monitoring of the endangered Houston Toad. My current project involves a complete Herpetology Survey of Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, an urban sanctuary located in the heart of Houston. A fair amount of my free time is dedicated to wildlife education and giving back to my community. I believe that there is a growing disconnect between the natural and the human world and I hope to bridge that gap. I have been captivated with the ecology and social structure of crocodiles and large lizards since I was a teenager. After my undergraduate career, I plan to pursue a PhD in this field and expand our knowledge of these fascinating creatures.

Madeline Jones

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) WangMadeline Jones photo

I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Pflugerville, TX.  I have been a part of the Ecological Systems Laboratory in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Hsiao Hsuan (Rose) Wang and Dr. Grant since July 2017.  I am working on understanding the effects of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the population dynamics of loggerhead sea turtles. Through this project I have gained a better understanding of how anthropogenic events affect species over time and I hope to build on this knowledge through the course of this program. After graduation, I would like to work in the field of environmental regulation.


Alaya Keane

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Donald Brightsmith

Hi everyone! I’m Alaya or Laya (like Princess Leia), and I am a proud dog mom, tree hugger and animal lover. As a current senior in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, I have been exposed to so many great things and opportunities that it is almost impossible to pick one specific thing that I am interested in. I wish I could throw myself in every possible avenue in terms of wildlife conservation, but if I had to pick one thing I would say that I am interested in studying and modifying animal behavior to increase populations of threatened and endangered species in captivity and in the wild. I have Processed with VSCO with c1 presethad the honor of working in Dr. Brightsmith’s lab under a research project that looks at modifying parrot behavior for a digital enrichment program. Through the ABS Program I will continue under Dr. Brightsmith’s and his PhD student, Constance’s mentorship as I seek to analyze nesting behaviors of the endangered Whooping Crane and get a better understanding on why their reproduction rates have been so low. I have a deep love for nature and more specifically wetland and tropical ecosystems and I plan to take this passion and the experiences that this program has given me into grad school next fall while pursuing a Master’s.

Delaine Kelley

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Thomas Lacher

Howdy! I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries Major from New Braunfels, TX. Being a part IMG_5666of the Applied Biodiversity Conservation Scholars Program is my first opportunity to explore and perform meaningful research on animals that fascinates me. My love for animals and nature was rooted since I was a young, adventurous girl. For this semester, I will be studying techniques of acoustic monitoring of birds and frogs. I may also have the opportunity to actively assess potentially endangered species as I am in the
process of becoming IUCN Red List Certified. My goal for this program is to learn the fundamentals of what a hands-on, real world research experiment in the field consists of and to learn as much about acoustic monitoring techniques as possible. For my internship this summer, I would like to be able to apply the techniques I will be learning during this semester to field work for an organization or association and continue to study animals and how to better their lives and habitats. My future career aspiration is to become a wildlife biologist and either travel with my practice or work in a state or
national park.

Vy Le

Vy Le photoMajor: Petroleum Engineering     Mentor: Dr. Heitor de Paula Lima

I am a senior in Petroleum engineering from Houston, Texas. I am currently working with Dr. Lima about the modifications in drilling technology of petroleum industry after Macondo.  My work focuses on how effective these modifications are in improving the safety in drilling as well as in protecting the environment. After graduation I plan on attending graduate school to enhance my knowledge in oil and gas industry.



Annie Montgomery

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang

Annie Montgomery photoI am a Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences Major with a Biology Minor from Brenham, TX.  Since May 2017, I have been conducting research in the Ecological Systems Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang and Dr. William Grant. Currently, I am working on my thesis for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, which involves researching how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico from exposure to dolphin morbillivirus. Some of my research interests include how anthropogenic events impact species and their ecosystems, and environmental studies on climate change and how this affects the natural world. I hope to expand my knowledge on these topics throughout the duration of this program and my personal research. Following my graduation in December 2018, I would like to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and work towards a career in environmental restoration or wildlife biology.

Jill Thompson-Grim

Major: Marine Biology     Mentor: Dr. Jaime Alvarado-Bremer

I am a Marine Biology major with a minor in Diving Technology and Methods, and I am from Pearland, Texas. I am part of the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Lab under the guidance of Dr. Alvarado-Bremer. My research focuses on detecting and quantifying the relative abundance of the invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans/Pterois miles) in the Gulf of Mexico at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary andLongtailBass_EB-110 artificial reefs by utilizing environmental DNA (eDNA) shed in the water column. The knowledge gained will be used to determine areas of high risk of Lionfish invasion with the purpose of conserving biodiversity. I will start my master’s degree in Marine Biology at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M- Corpus Christi starting in the fall of 2018 where I will be working in the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation lab under Dr. Greg Stunz.

Minna Wong

Major: Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences     Mentor: Dr. Thomas Lacher

I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries major and Spatial Science minor from
Houston, TX. I’ve been a part of the Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Lab
involved in research investigating the relationship between biodiversity andMinna
anthropogenic activity, specifically studying camera trap images from projects in
Costa Rica, Peru and Argentina. By understanding image analysis, I’m working
to expand my knowledge on monitoring ecosystems and biodiversity. In addition,
I am working to incorporate spatial data with camera trap data from the Condor
Valley in Salta Province, Argentina. With this program, I plan to practice GIS
(Geographic Information Systems) techniques applicable to a variety of future
conservation projects, telling a visual story hidden in the natural world.

Rebecca Arbuthnot

Rebecca Arbuthnot photo.jpgMajor: Bio-environmental Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Thom DeWitt

I am a senior Bioenvironmental Science student from Plano, Texas. I have been doing research under Dr. Thomas DeWitt on wild sailfin molly fish at Texas A&M since summer of 2016. The experiment focuses on anthropomorphic issues in wetlands, of decreased freshwater inflows and eutrophication on fish phenotype. I have enjoyed the experience of conducting my own experiment and collecting my own specimens around Texas. Wetland have a unique serenity about them, and they are some of the most beautiful habitat on our planet. My passion is to keep our nation’s wetlands around and beautiful for future generations. I look forward to the satisfaction of finishing and publishing my own scientific paper and the experience I will gain throughout this project.

Maria Paola Camposeco 14681086_1437497349596972_640554058018367879_o

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Science.  Mentor: Dr. Hsiao Hsuan (Rose) Wang

I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Spring, TX. I have been a part of the Ecological Systems Laboratory in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang and Dr. Grant since December 2015. Previously I have worked with understanding the population dynamics of the Florida manatee and the effects of the 2010 deep horizon oil spill on their population throughout the past years. Currently I am studying the population dynamics of the parrotfish populations in response to the indo-pacific lionfish invasion in the Caribbean. I am planning to continue studying the effects of the lionfish population on the parrotfish while incorporating other reef species and finish my undergraduate thesis through the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Research Scholars program at Texas A&M. After graduation, I hope to pursue a masters in conservation science and follow a career helping threatened and endangered species.

Jasmin Diaz Lopez20170328_121334

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Masami Fujiwara

I am a senior majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Houston,TX. I am highly interested in biodiversity and conservation efforts regarding wildlife restoration whether it is land or endangered species populations. I am currently working with Dr. Fujiwara learning how to develop matrix population models and will be pursuing a Master’s degree under his lab. My current goals for the future is to be able to incorporate matrix population models using sensitivity analysis in order to predict viability of concerned species. Through this program I hope to find an internship that will allow me to have more hands on experience dealing with wildlife habitat restoration.

Jacob Locke

Jacob Locke photo.jpgMajor: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Gary Voelker

I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Center, Texas. Growing up in the outdoors I always knew I wanted to pursue a career working with wildlife. My personal research interests lie in the field of ornithology. I work in the lab of Dr. Gary Voelker researching the molecular biosystematics of avian species. My work primarily focuses on creating evolutionary phylogenetic trees that show speciation over time as well as screening avian tissue samples for malaria infection. After graduation I plan on attending graduate school furthering my knowledge in the field of avian research.

Isaac Lordisaac

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Kirk Winemiller

I am a junior in the Wildlife and Fisheries department at Texas A&M emphasizing in Wildlife Management. Currently I am working with Dr. Kirk Winemiller, Dr. Heather Prestridge, and Dr. Luci Cook on a project for Texas Parks and Wildlife studying the reproduction of introduced Loracariid catfishes in the Comal Springs system. At the conclusion of this project we hope to have an idea of the peak breeding season to develop a management plan to reduce their impact. In the future, I hope to study fish ecology and be able help prevent species extinction by teaching people about the impact of their actions on threatened species.

Jennifer Morgan Borski
Jenny Borski photo.jpgMajor: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Hsaio Hsuan (Rose) Wang

My name is Jenny Borski. I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Spring, TX.  Currently, I am working on research with Dr. Rose Wang in the Ecological Systems Laboratory, focused on Antarctic sea ice variation and its potential effects on Blue whale populations. Through this research, I would like to provide insight on anthropogenic consequences on ecological systems. I hope to use the skills gained from the ABS Conservation Scholars program in pursing a degree in environmental law, and using my conservation research and internship experience to affect change through policy.

Stephanie Oakley Fajardo

Stephanie Oakley-Fajardo photo.jpgMajor: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Mentor: Dr. Pamela Plotkin

Howdy, I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Major with an emphasis in conservation and management at Texas A&M. I am currently working under Dr. Plotkin. We are studying the biology and ecology of the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and Pacific Green (Chelonia mydas agassizii) turtles. I will be joining a research group in Costa Rica over the summer, where I will be assisting with sample collection and placing trackers on selected turtles. With these samples, the way we manage these populations will change.  I am extremely excited to go on this adventure and gain so many valuable skills and experiences that I will carry with me throughout my career. Ultimately, I would like to manage either a fisheries or wildlife reserve in hopes of conserving what precious animal species we have left.

Justin Patton

Justin Patton photo.jpgMajor: Urban and Regional Planning. Mentor: Dr. Geoffrey Booth

I am a senior city-planning major from Stone Mountain, Georgia. I will pursue a master’s degree in land and property development subsequent to my undergraduate graduation. As a former environmental science major, I am aware of the impacts that humans have on the environment. My goal is to add sustainable influences to the Anthropocene. I am convinced that with proper measures, the built and natural environments can coexist sustainably. The quote that I live by is: “If you don’t build your future, someone will pay you to build theirs.” I am in love with the landscape of the southeastern United States. My favorite hobbies are hiking and exercising.

Andrew Richardson
Andrew photo.JPGMajor: Civil Engineering.  Mentor: Dr. Hsiao Hsuan (Rose) Wang

I am a senior Environmental Engineering major from Dallas, Texas. Conservation has always had an importance in my life, leading me to study water quality as an undergraduate. Over the past year I have worked within the Ecological Systems laboratory for Dr. Rose Wang to produce my own thesis. My research has focused on the survivability of the IUCN endangered Fountain Darter when exposed to pharmaceutical contamination, a contaminant that has received much discussion and research the past several years. Over the summer I will be working with Dr. Thom Hardy within the Texas State Department of Biology and Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to further study the Fountain Darter.

Ivan Salazar 

Document4Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences; Education.  Mentor: Dr. Giselle Mora-Bourgeois

I am a Senior Wildlife Ecology major and Education minor at Texas A&M. I will be interning at Padre Island National Seashore for the summer of 2017 to learn more about working at a national park. I also want to know more about interpretation in hopes to use it as an educator. I will be conducting research on how marine debris has been recently affecting sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico under my mentor teacher, Dr. Giselle Mora-Bourgeois.



Randall Cory Teague

Major: Marine Biology.  Mentor: Dr. Meri Davlasheridze

Cory Teague is seeking a double degree in Marine Biology and Ocean & Coastal Resources with a minor in Oceanography from Texas A&M University Galveston Campus. His focus is on understanding how marine mammals (especially dolphins and whales) adapt their behavior to human influences in coastal ecosystems.

Cheyanne Theischeyanne1

Major: Marine Biology.  Mentor: Dr. David Wells






Katie Westmoreland antarctica-650

Major: Marine Biology.  Mentor: Dr. Jaime Alvarado-Bremer

My name is Katie Westmoreland, I am a senior Marine Fisheries and Marine Biology double degree candidate at Texas A&M University at Galveston. My research interests include fisheries management and molecular ecology. In my spare time I really enjoy fishing and spending time in the field. Over the past year I worked with Dr. Jaime Alvarado Bremer and PhD. student Janelle Espinoza to develop a genetic assay for the identification of grass shrimp from the genus Palaemonetes. We were interested in implementing the method of high resolution melting analysis to quickly identify these salt marsh inhabitants that serve as prey items for many species of commercially and recreationally important fish species. Over the summer I will be working with Dr. Gregory Stunz at the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation


Kathleen Eubanks

Major: Bioenvironmental Sciences, December 2016

Bio: I am a Senior, Bioenvironmental Sciences major from New Orleans, LA. After graduating with my undergrad, I would like to pursue a Master’s degree in Ecosystem Science, Coastal Ecology, or a similar field. My goal is to one day return to Louisiana and work in the wetlands and along the coast to better understand the function and importance of this type of ecosystem and how we can better take care of it and the many species that inhabit it. I am also interested in the role wetlands having in buffering storms along the Gulf Coast and the role that anthropogenic causes have on the degradation of coastal ecosystems. I recharge by being in and around nature and I look forward to working with an ecosystem that is abundant in the region I am from and that really hits close to home.

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Kaitlyn Forks

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2016

Bio:I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from San Antonio, TX. I have been doing research on Green Tree Frogs in burned areas of Bastrop, TX since last summer with the help of Dr. Michael Forstner’s lab at Texas State University. I have presented a poster of the preliminary results of this project at the Texas Herpetological Symposium and I was named a 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Scholar at Texas A&M. Seeing the way the fires (presumably due to mis-management) have impacted local ecosystems has inspired me to pursue a career in conservation and I have always had a particular interest in herpetofauna. Whether I end up in the field or working in a research-based setting, I’m excited to dedicate my life to benefitting biodiversity wherever I go!


Erin McGrew

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2017

Bio: I am a junior from Trophy Club, Texas and I am broadly interested in biological diversity and particularly its conservation. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to enjoy diverse experiences, all of which have played a role in developing my interests in wildlife research. I am currently a volunteer at the Texas A&M Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, where I assist in the herpetology section. Additionally, I have participated in research in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Ecological Systems Laboratory for Dr. Rose Wang since the 2015 spring semester. This spring, my research for the ABS Conservation Scholars program will be conducted within Dr. Conway’s ichthyology laboratory.


Marie Perez

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

Bio: I am a Senior, Wildlife and Fisheries Major from Austin, Texas. I am largely interested in the importance of coral reef systems and their impact on the surrounding wildlife both in and out of the water. Throughout my time in this program, I hope to learn more about and aide in the efforts in rehabilitating coral reef systems. This spring, I will be under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Lacher and will be working on broadening my knowledge of the IUCN Red List and the efforts of the Global Marine Species Assessment.

ABSC Scholars pic-Stoner

Amanda Stoner

Major:Zoology/Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences Double Degree, May 2016

Bio: I am a senior from Stillwater, Oklahoma, interested in endangered species research and conservation efforts. I have a passion for helping endangered species and would like to focus on worldwide mammal or bird conservation. My dream would be to aid in the removal of a critically endangered species from the IUCN red list. My research through the conservation scholars program is about estimating the annual survival rate of juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles in the Mississippi Sound using capture-recapture statistical modeling. This program has helped me rediscover my passion for making an impact in the wildlife world and broadened my horizons to include both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

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Kelsea Anthony

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2017

Bio: I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major, with an emphasis in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, from Fort Worth, Texas. I am greatly interested in biodiversity conservation, particularly through studying the reproductive biology and increasing the genetic diversity of threatened species. Currently, I am working under Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan (Rose) Wang in the Ecological Systems Laboratory, where we are studying the effects of genetic depletion on estimating risk of extinction of the endangered Florida panther. After graduation, I hope to pursue a PhD in Zoology or a similar field.


Anna Cole

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2016.

Bio: I am a senior WFSC major, with an emphasis in Animal Behavior and a minor in Psychology. During my career at Texas A&M, I have researched various stakeholder perspectives towards animal captive programs. Currently, I am writing my thesis regarding the extinction risk of the Florida panther due to genetic inbreeding. After graduation, I plan to take a year off to work internships. After, I hope to pursue my MS in conservation education, animal behavior, or conservation biology. While I am considering earning a PhD, I am not sure if I want to follow that path. My passion for the preservation of nature has shaped my career goals.Though I’m not sure exactly what kind of career I want to pursue, I want to find something related to animal conservation and behavior or conservation education. I hope to increase awareness regarding the importance of wildlife conservation in order to prevent further decrease in wildlife populations.

HannahGerkeHannah Gerke

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)  Minor: Psychology

Bio: I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from St. Petersburg, Florida. Wildlife has always been a passion of mine, and being at Texas A&M given me many opportunities to pursue it. Since my freshman year, I have worked for Dr. Todd Sink in Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, where I write publications and develop mobile phone apps. In the 2015 fall semester, I also began research with Dr. Rose Wang regarding the effects of oil spills on loggerhead sea turtles. Although I have a broad love for all wildlife, my interests lie primarily in herpetology. After graduating, I plan to attend graduate school and research the effects of  anthropogenic  threats on different wildlife species. I look forward to the field and research experiences I will gain through the ABS internship this spring!


Thanchira Suriyamongkol

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, December 2016

Bio: I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Bangkok, Thailand. I am interested in ecology and wildlife conservation, especially in marine species. Currently, I am a part of the Ecological Systems Laboratory in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries under the mentorship of Dr.Wang. I have been doing research on the effects of fire on Green Tree Frogs in Bastrop, TX since last summer.  I am also developing a model on demography and population trends of Florida manatees. My goal as an undergraduate is to obtain knowledge and skills that would help me as I pursue my goal to attain a career in marine conservation or a similar field.

mae hinson

Mae Hinson

Major: Ocean and Coastal Resources, May 2017.

Bio: Howdy! My name is Laura Mae Hinson, but please call me Mae. I am a junior, Ocean and Coastal Resource major, with a minor in technical diving, from Austin, Texas. But most importantly, I am the loudest, and the proudest member, of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2017. (A-A-A WHOOP!) You can find me around the Galveston campus, (1/3 system schools of College Station,) in the Ocean and Coastal Studies Building (OCSB), working on my undergraduate research, working the front desk at the Jack K. Williams Library, in the Dive locker working on planning Dive Club trips, at Admissions working on my Student Ambassador duties or in student life working on any of the following organizations: SALT camp, Orientation leader, dive club or traditions council. Previously, I held positions as a Community Leader, aka Residential Assistant, in the Resident Halls, and President of Traditions Council.

Growing up with a father as a biologist and being from in Austin, I’ve always been very environmentally friendly. I hope to use my ocean and coastal resource degree to help protect our natural resources located on the coasts and preserve them for the future generations. I’m focusing my undergraduate research more specifically on coral reefs and water quality. Any future job incorporating resource management, conservation, diving, coral reefs, or climate change I would be interested in. Scuba Diving is my passion, and any way to incorporate diving into my profession is the goal. I’m hoping to be a dive master in Australia after I graduate then go on to either an environmental law school or masters program.

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Victoria Bartlett

Major: Ocean and Coastal Resources, May 2017.

Bio: Howdy! My name is Victoria Bartlett. I am a Junior Ocean and Coastal Resource major down at Texas A&M Galveston. I hail from Lewisville, Texas; 25 or so miles north of Dallas. I plan on continuing my education through the 3+2 program that will result in graduation in 2018 with both a B.S. in Ocean and Coastal Resources and a Masters of Marine Resources Management. Because my degree focuses on conservation, laws and policy, and the specific physical sciences of coastal and oceanic processes, I would like to be an environmental consultant for offshore drilling. My research consists of observing the climactic patterns of El Nino, La Nina, and the North Atlantic Oscillations and their impact in the Gulf of Mexico. I will be looking at the movement of Sargassum in order to track these specific patterns. In my free time, I’m usually working at my on campus job in the Marine Science Office, or napping, watching Netlfix, reading, running, or hammocking. I really enjoy traveling and would like to somehow incorporate that into my career in the future. 

B_StampsBrittany Stamps

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2017

Bio: I am a junior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major from Houston, TX. I am particularly interested in field experience with aquatic, wetland, and marshland mammals. Since this past August, I have been participating in research and ecological modeling with Dr. Hsiaohsuan Wang on the Houston Toad’s juvenile survival disparity, then switched in December to the effect of oil spills on the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.


Aminta Arevilca

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Fall 2016

Bio: I am a Senior, Wildlife and Fisheries Science major from Houston, TX. I am greatly interested in biodiversity as well as the conservation of threatened/endangered species. I have been working with Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Wang since the Spring 2015 semester and now I am working on my undergraduate research thesis over the effects of gillnet entanglement on the mortality of dusky dolphins. So far, I have had an amazing experience and hope to make research as part of my career in the future.

ConnorConnor Jacobson

Major: Zoology, May 2016

Bio: I am a senior Zoology major from Sacramento, California. I am also the co-founder and vice president of the Houston based environmental education and outreach organization, Warriors of the Wild. I have worked in several different research labs both national and international conducting independent research on various taxa. Currently, I am working with Dr. Lee Fitzgerald of Texas A&M University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Science Department where I am studying the thermal ecology of a dune dwelling lizard. After graduating I plan to pursue a career in science communication in order to educating the nations youth on animal conservation on a broader scale.


MarissaMarissa Ortega

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries, May 2017

Bio: Howdy! My name is Marissa Ortega and I am a Junior Wildlife and Fisheries Science major from San Antonio, TX. I am particularly interested in the conservation of endangered/ endemic species located in major biodiverse hotspots of the world. I aspire to one day be a conservation biologist doing research on the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.  Currently, I am doing ecological modeling research with Dr. Hsiao-Hsuan Wang studying the effects of gillnet entanglement on the mortality of dusky dolphins.


ChelseaAcresChelsea Acres
Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2015
Internship: Texas Coastal Watershed Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service/Texas Sea Grant
Bio: I worked with the Texas Coastal Watershed Program as a part of their Wetland Restoration Team in Houston, TX. My research investigated predator-prey interactions amongst White and Brown Shrimp and Spotted Sea Trout, Red Drum, and Southern Flounder. I am currently starting a masters program in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston that is marine biology-focused.

“I have absolutely loved all of the field work I’ve gotten to do this summer and I’ll be sad when I leave, but I’m very excited about start graduate school! I actually have a phone interview for tomorrow for a research assistant position with NOAA working on Deep Water Horizon impacts and being apart of Conservation Scholars Program has made me very well qualified for it.

Jesse Gwinn
Major: Bioenvironmental Sciences and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, December 2016
Internship: Dauphin Island Sea Lab REU Program, Marine Ecotoxicology Lab, located in Dauphin Island, AL
Bio: I’m a senior from Katy, TX and I’m interested in microbiology and molecular interactions and how they influence larger-scale life processes. I completed my CSP project with Dr. Daniel Roelke (WFSC) studying Prymnesium parvum, a freshwater alga which produces toxins which affect gill-breathing animals; blooms cause massive fish kills throughout Texas. Because of it’s high lipid accumulation, P. parvum is also being studied for use as a biofuel, which may have negative downstream effects on freshwater ecosystems receiving waste (and potentially toxins) from biofuel production facilities. My project was to try to understand the persistence of the toxin through the biofuel production process. I completed my internship with the REU Program located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab working for Dr. Alison Robertson in the Marine Ecotoxicology Lab studying aspects of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) – a foodborne illness prominent in the Caribbean which is contracted by consumption of fish contaminated with ciguatoxins. My project focused on the movement of ciguatoxin precursors from the toxic dinoflagellate which produces them (Gambierdiscus spp.) to herbivorous fish from the Caribbean. My poster and project were selected out of all the REU interns there to represent the Dauphin Island Sea Lab at the National REU Poster Symposium this fall!

headshot Ellen Giddens
Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, May 2015
Internship: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program
Bio: I studied wildlife and fisheries sciences at Texas A&M University where my undergraduate research focused on population genetics of invertebrates. Through the conservation scholars program, the lab I worked in looked at spatial and temporal genetic differentiation of Blue Crabs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. I completed my internship with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in July. During my internship I worked with the Salmon and Trout enhancement program, where I helped conduct seining surveys, coded-wire tag juvenile chinook salmon, assist in angler education, habitat restoration projects, and adult summer steelhead population control.

“I’ve had the time of my life exploring the beautiful northwest and am so glad for the opportunities this program has given me. I have accepted a job offer to continue working with Oregon department of Fish and Wildlife for the rest of the fall salmon run.”

SM Samantha Murray

Major: Bioenvironmental Science and Plant Pathology Internship: Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR)

Bio: My name is Samantha and I am a Bioenvironmental Science Student. I love conservation, stewardship, and getting to work with and around nature. I enjoy working around the marine environment and this scholars program helped me discover and work towards my passions. During my internship, I engaged in activities such as studying the rate of marine debris accumulation rate along the shorelines of a select few sites that we are actually still establishing, vegetation monitoring at Fennessey Ranch and invasive species removal and seagrass monitoring:

“It is all rather relaxed here and I really enjoy that and the variety that I have been able to experience. It definitely has helped me form a direction for where I want to go and I definitely love marine stewardship and conservation even more now!”

Aly Miranda
Major: Bioenvironmental Sciences, 2017
Internship: IUCN Marine Biodiversity Unit, Old Dominion University/Norfolk, VA
Bio: Aly is a junior Bioenvironmental Sciences major and business administration minor from Missouri City, TX. At A&M, she has been involved with the Symphonic Winds, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Honors Housing Community, and Alternative Spring Break. Last year and this past summer, Aly worked with the IUCN Marine Biodiversity Unit at Old Dominion University to complete species extinction risk assessments for the Global Marine Species Assessment, but much of her focus was on the Gulf of Mexico Red List Species Assessment regional project. Through the Conservation Scholars Program, Aly has rediscovered her love of marine conservation and international collaborations, and she is grateful that she was able to learn about marine fisheries and the scientific community through the whole experience.