University of Virginia Class of 2010, B.S. Biology
Reformed chemist and lizard nerd
I am broadly interested in the interface between behavioral ecology and conservation. For my thesis research, I am investigating whether methylmercury affects how birds tradeoff between starvation risk and predation risk. Because most birds have to find food while avoiding being eaten themselves, anything that causes a suboptimal tradeoff will affect individual fitness and possibly population and community dynamics. However, this tradeoff has not yet been examined with any environmental contaminant. To study this tradeoff with methylmercury, I will examine foraging and vigilance behaviors in zebra finches in a captive dosing study.