Graduating senior: Kylie Campbell
Hometown: Purcellville, Virginia
Major: Water: Resources, Policy, and Management
Main accomplishment: I applied for my own grant and secured funding from the Virginia Water Resources Center through the Sustainable Water Undergraduate Research Fellowship to complete a research project on zooplankton ecology. The project was a continuation of work that I assisted with as a research assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences. It was incredibly rewarding to see the project through every stage of the research process: from field work to lab analysis to data visualization and analysis to writing a final paper. It was definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and I learned a lot about science and grew so much as a person through the process.
Master’s student: Chelsea Weithman
Hometown: Powell, Ohio
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Research focus: My thesis is examining a small population of federally threatened piping plovers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am looking at what factors influence the movement and behavior of chicks between when they hatch and when they fledge, as well as population dynamics and use of the islands by migratory piping plovers. My research will not only aid in the management of the species locally, but also potentially contribute to the knowledge of the species as a whole by examining multiple periods of its life cycle.
Graduate student: Erin Poor
Hometown: East Lansing, Michigan
Research focus: My overall goal is to shed light on the detailed habitat use and movements of tigers in Sumatra’s Riau Conservation Landscape and to aid in the development of wildlife-friendly management practices of plantations and “corridors,” which, in the long term, will aid in increasing the Sumatran tiger population. I have identified three components to identify connectivity to provide a complete view of tiger connectivity: genetic connectivity, structural connectivity, and functional connectivity or animal movement.