CTEC Alumni

Richard Couse, MS CandidateRichard Couse, MS 
Wildlife advocacy and endangered species conservation and management



EEmily-Darkmily Dark, MS Conservation Biology

My primary research interests are directed towards tropical coastal marine conservation. I am extremely interested in the ecological connectivity between coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs. Not only studying these individual systems, but their overall functioning together on a landscape scale, is crucial for their management and conservation. The health of these ecosystems and their connectivity directly affects not only the organisms that depend upon them, but also communities all around the world. I am intrigued and alarmed that a large percent of the human population lives on or in close proximity to the coasts and that coastal ecosystems are some of the most threatened and degraded in the world. Therefore, I am also interested in pursuing involvement in such things as Community-based Conservation and Integrated Coastal Management. Particularly, I am interested in how these management methods can be effectively used in climate change mitigation and fisheries management.

I have always had a passion for the marine world, but my experiences living in Puerto Rico before Antioch really inspired me to pursue academics in this field. My research interests have evolved through different experiences such as interning at the Smithsonian Marine Lab in Fort Pierce, Florida. There I conducted a research project in the Indian River Lagoon on the use of mangroves by different communities of juvenile fish across a landscape gradient. I also conducted preliminary research on lionfish invading into these mangrove communities and what the potential impacts may be on native fish communities and food webs. This has led to my MS thesis project that will focus on the efficiency of targeted removals of lionfish in the Indian River Lagoon, as well as their diet in this critical fisheries estuary.

Melissa-GMelissa Gaydos, MS Conservation Biology

The field of conservation biology has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Before enrollment at Antioch, it was difficult for me to narrow my focus as several avenues within the interdisciplinary umbrella of conservation biology interested me. As the majority of my undergraduate research focused on the aquatic sciences, I at least knew that I wanted to continue in that direction. During the summer of 2012 I had the opportunity to intern at the Vieques Conservation & Historical Trust in Puerto Rico where I garnered my first introduction to marine biology and sea turtle conservation. Needless to say, upon years of searching, I had finally found my niche.

For my master’s thesis, I will be monitoring the nests of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at Playa Grande – a popular nesting beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Through out the 2013 nesting season (February-July) I will be measuring incubation temperatures of multiple leatherback nests with the intent of understanding how nest temperatures are influenced by ambient weather conditions, specifically precipitation. Like most reptiles, Leatherback turtles experience temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), where incubation temperatures determine the sex of the offspring. By monitoring nest temperatures during the 2013 nesting season, I hope to provide a baseline understanding of natural sex ratios being produced at Playa Grande. Furthermore, documentation of how annual and seasonal changes in weather affect leatherback sex ratios will become especially important as global temperatures continue to shift. Monitoring these effects is essential given current projections of human population growth occurring in tropical coastal areas. Having such knowledge will improve our ability to predict how land use and global climate changes will affect future leatherback populations – allowing us to make more informed, adaptive management decisions for this endangered species.

Alexis-HandAlexis Hand, MS Conservation Biology

My current research interests center around management of wild populations and population dynamics. Over the years I have developed a strong passion for both municipally and federally governed wildlife management issues. My past research has dealt with ecological and behavioral aspects of avian biology. I gained a lot of hands on experience while in Guancaste, Costa Rica and equally important lab experience while working on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Project.

For my Master’s thesis I plan to study the harp seal populations that have been managed by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans for many years. I am particularly interested in the effects of climate change on their populations and how this in turn affects the total allowable catch of the harp seal every year. I am currently looking for an organization to collaborate with to begin my thesis work. I support CTEC by helping with coffee and tea sales, volunteering at the annual symposium and participating in brown bag lunches.

Kathy-HenleyKathy Henley, MS/PSM Environmental Education

I have always had a fascination and love for wildlife, especially wolves and wild dogs. Because becoming a full time biologist didn’t feel like a good fit for me, I never thought I would have a career helping these amazing animals. I started volunteering at the Denver Zoo in 2010 and was introduced to informal education and interpretation. I have since been working on developing and refining my skills as educator, interpreter and researcher though my graduate work, volunteering and internships. With these skills I will be able to achieve my goal of preserving imperiled wolves wild dogs.

My research will focus on the wild dog-human conflictwhy wild dogs are seen as pests and domesticated dogs are seen as ‘man’s best friend’and how education can help eradicate the common misconceptions people have about wolves due to mythologies and media.


Erica Hermsen, MS Candidate Conservation Biology

Large carnivore conservation and community-based education are two of my leading passions. As a third year AUNE graduate student, I have been able to combine these interests for an exciting and fulfilling research experience.

My Master’s thesis focuses on determining what type of scent, sound, and/or visual lure attracts cheetahs to traps for radio-collaring. In May 2012, I conducted a pilot study at the San Diego Zoo testing the reaction of cheetahs to a variety of bait items. Bait types shown to be of interest to captive cheetahs were used in the field study. During the summer of 2012, I set up camera- traps at bait stations throughout southern Kenya and analyzed photographs to determine what bait type(s) most significantly attracted cheetahs. I am now in the process of writing my thesis. Results will be provided to the organization Action for Cheetahs in Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service for use in conservation research.

I currently work as a scientist for a large environmental consulting firm. In the future, I hope to manage in-situ conservation projects for an AZA accredited zoo or a US based big cat conservation organization. Such a position would allow me to balance work between international and domestic conservation efforts.

Charzy-JonesCharissa Charzy Jones, MS Environmental Education

The overall focus in my research is at the interface of people and the environment, with my perception of “environment” including built as well as natural landscapes and their biophysical and social dimensions. I am particularly interested in the interface of culture and conservation and how culture filters what “conservation” is to various people. I am also interested in figuring out how community development can foster environmental protection while at the same time meeting the needs of its members.

My research focuses on citizen participation and stakeholder engagement in conservation activities. I believe that focusing on these aspects will help increase environmental awareness and interest in land stewardship and the importance of biodiversity. I am committed to collaborating with tribal and indigenous, local, regional, federal, and international communities, researchers, and stakeholders as part of achieving this goal.

ElizaEliza Kovnat, MS Sustainable Development and Climate Change

I am a person that is dedicated to strengthening as well as building sustainable communities and organizations. I have not been able to reconcile my intrigue of varying human as well as non-human communities and the sustainability of the planet. The path of bringing these two passions together has led me on adventures through Europe, New Zealand and Australia, Canada, and most recently to the backwoods of New England. I have sharpened my skills as an educator, researcher, community organizer and environmental steward. I aim to put these skills to use while assisting, and maybe even inspiring, the process of shifting away from unsustainable societal, economic, and environmental practices towards a more renewable world.

My research will focus on how we can better bring all members of the community together, civil society, government and the private sector alike, so we can work as one unit in addressing the plethora of environmental issues that affect our societies today.

amanda-moeserAmanda Moeser, MS Conservation Biology

My primary research interests revolve around the conservation of freshwater and diadromous fish. My passion for fisheries began while living and studying in Washington State, where I observed the unique role that salmon play in both the cultural and ecological landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Fish are connected to people in so many waysas a source of sustenance and commerce, as the backbone of so many culturesyet they are often overshadowed by more visible, more charismatic species in the conservation world.

While at Antioch, I hope to explore fisheries from the Conservation Biology perspective, rather than a traditional fisheries management vantage point. I am still developing my thesis topic, but plan to pursue research relating the American eel, Anguilla rostrataa not-so-beautiful, but truly spectacular and fascinating fish. I currently live in Portland, Maine and work with farmers and fishermen on collaborative, community-driven projects.

Elizabeth-PElizabeth Pascale, MS Candidate Conservation Biology

Entomology and Biodiversity Conservation are my primary passions. These passions were first developed through an internship in 2008 at the Boston Museum of Science’s Butterfly Garden, where I had the opportunity to work up close with butterflies and learn about the Garden’s conservation efforts. A subsequent Restoration Ecology class trip to Panama continued to foster these passions through our traveling and work in the country’s dry- and rain-forests. Since that time I have continued to develop my skills through wildlife care volunteering and an internship with New Hampshire Fish and Game. This internship with NH Fish and Game’s Karner Blue Butterfly and Concord (NH) Pine Barrens Program inspired my Master’s thesis and helped me to develop skills I will be using to achieve my research goals.

My Master’s thesis will focus on the role that ants play in the survival of the federally-listed, endangered Karner blue butterfly in the Concord, NH pine barrens. I will collect data on ant species composition found in conjunction with the Karner blue’s sole host plant, wild blue lupine. This data will be compared Karner blue population survey data in order to determine the significance of ant-Karner relationships in this habitat. Results from this study will advise on whether NH Fish and Game needs to include ants in their management plan in order to reach federal recovery goals for the local Karner blue population.

Tamathay-STamathy Stage, MS Conservation Biology

My lifelong passion for nature, especially wildlife, fueled my goals for a career based in conservation, research, and/or wildlife management. My fascination has included the tropics since I was a child, and I read and watched anything that was available to me on the subject. As an undergraduate I took advantage of the opportunity to take a class trip to Costa Rica. Aware that behaviors locally could affect distant places, the trip helped me understand the specifics of those relationships. During the last several years I’ve had the chance to work in several different parts of the U.S. and whatever the locale, I made the effort to learn as much as a could about the local flora and fauna . Much of my focus has been on animal behavior and habitat conservation, including the effects of non-native invasive species. My Master’s thesis deals with muskrat preference for native cattails as opposed to the invasive wetlands plants, particularly common reed (Phragmites australis). The goal is to determine if the invasive species influence site selection for construction by muskrats, and if the muskrats are willing to use the novel plants as building material. Currently, there is very little literature concerning this question, despite much of the habitat that has been altered by the influx of the common reed.

A starting career in environmental education combined with training in wildlife management and research puts me in a unique position of a broad range of experience. My experience in wildlife research has included work with birds, turtles, small mammals, and muskrats. The work required skills using ArcView, handheld GPS units, local bird identification by sight and sound, knowledge of live trapping protocols, radio telemetry, as well as local tree and plant identification. I also enjoyed the chance to be trained in fundamentals of butterfly identification. By bridging the communication gap between scientists, lay people, and policy makers, I hope the shared knowledge will lead to a more informed and sound decision making process.


Laura Hilberg, MS CandidateLaura Hilberg, MS 
Avian behavior, especially song



Toby Jacobs, MS CandidateToby Jacobs, MS 
Mangrove and cloud forest ecology



Tierney Rosenstock, MS CandidateTierney Rosenstock, MS Candidate
Reproductive biology of the Pink Lady’s Slipper



Amber Kleiman, MS CandidateAmber Kleiman, MS 
Socio-ecological factors determining the movement patterns and habitat use of elephants in corridors and adaptability of primates to live in fragmented habitat


Sofia Angelo, MS studentSofia Angelo, MS 
I am interested in the conservation of vertebrates and invertebrates that are often overlooked or less popular. I consider every group of animals important to the biodiversity of our planet and would like to see future where people and nature can thrive together. Although I have not worked in any tropical regions, I am currently working for The Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation and am interested in working in the tropics in the future.

Christine Armiger, MSChristine Armiger, MS
My goal as a student of conservation biology is to explore ways in which human modified landscapes can be restored so as to support higher levels of biodiversity and ecosystem services. I organized CTEC’s 2006 fall symposium Banking on Biodiversity: The Ecological and Socio-economic Dimensions of Sustainable Agriculture. This symposium is linked to my own research involving the ecological value of small-holder agroforestry systems in Central America.

Kelly Biedenweg, MSKelly Biedenweg, MS
My training and experience as a natural scientist and educator have developed my interest for looking at both the social and ecological perspectives of biological conservation. My thesis research took place in Honduras, where I evaluated the effectiveness of an environmental leadership development program in removing barriers to environmental attitudes and behaviors.

Lauri Brewster, MSLauri Brewster, MS
My ultimate goal is to develop a career linking tropical ecology research with the conservation of tropical protected areas. My research interests lie at the intersection of ecological processes and landscape changes. I am particularly interested in seed dispersal ecology, forest regeneration, and forest fragmentation. For my thesis research I will be exploring the role of capuchin white-faced monkeys (Cebus capucinus) as seed dispersers in the fragmented landscape of Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Jeff Brown, MSJeff Brown, MS
Living in a rural village in West Africa and facilitating public health outreach programs increased my awareness of the connection between environmental degradation and public health. I always returned to the question, How can human health be improved for a rural population when the natural environment on which they are so dependent continues to be degraded?

Mari Clemmer, MS studentMari Clemmer, MS 
My research interests are focused on wildlife restoration. I have a particular interest in carnivore reintroduction projects, but have a broad interest in all wildlife conservation projects which focus on a community based approach.


Lara Davis, MSLara Davis, MS



Jason Estes, MS Jason Estes, MS
I am interested in working with the challenges surrounding conservation internationally. I have worked and studied in the tropics both in East Africa and Southeast Asia and I find myself energized by successful and creative conservation strategies.


Andrew Gilkin, MS Andrew Gilkin, MS
My name is Glikin and I am currently interested in bringing outdoor components of education to the public and private school sector. I wish to combine parts of environmental education schools, outdoor education schools, science centers, etc into a program that takes public and private school students outdoors. I fell that it is very important to have required outdoor components in our education systems and thus I wish to help our country’s education system in achieving this.

Christine Gleason, MS Christine Gleason, MS
As a future conservation biologist, I will focus my efforts on New England and tropical coastal systems. I am particularly interested in the interaction of social and environmental issues that conservationists face each day. My master’s thesis work will take me to the Dominican Republic where I will be researching the attitudes and awareness of whale watching tourists.

Kristin Godfrey, MS studentKristin Godfrey, MS
I am focusing my master’s research in connecting the research community and the general public. I have a specific interest in human wildlife conflict issues. Often times the general public has a desire to help animals and the environment both in their own communities and internationally, but are not well enough informed about the best approach. I would like to bring together the hard science and help the public put it into practice to decrease generalized fears of wildlife and increase the quality of life of both the wildlife and the communities living with them.

Alex A. Gonyaw, PhDAlex A. Gonyaw, PhD
My experience includes four years working as an environmental consultant for the nuclear and hydroelectric power industries. My primary expertise and interests are in freshwater and wetland ecology including invertebrate biology, taxonomy, fisheries, pollution biology and environmental chemistry.

ANicole Gross-Camp, PhDNicole Gross-Camp, PhD
My graduate research involves an examination of primate seed dispersal in an afromontane forest and the implications for forest regeneration processes. I am currently working in the Nyungwe National Park located in southwestern Rwanda.


Troy Hansel, MSTroy Hansel, MS



Phillip Howard, MS studentPhillip Howard, MS
My interests for tropical ecology and conservation are rooted in birds and agroforestry. For my thesis research I will be studying passerine overwintering requirements in the Lesser Antillean region of the Caribbean. I also have an interest in how shade crops, such as coffee and cacao, can help protect and maintain otherwise lost biodiversity in deforested landscapes in the tropics.


Jamie Irving, MSJamie Irving, MS
After I graduated high school I went to live in Nicaragua for a year to assist as a drug counselor with an association by the name of Quincho Barrilete. The organization was designed to get severely impoverished children off of the streets through education and positive programming. I was there for seven months; not one of the kids I met made it through the initial step to recovery. My goal is to return to Nicaragua and be able to assist Quincho Barrilete by helping to discover environmental outreach programs for the children through grant writing and ingenuity.

Shawn W. Margles, MSShawn W. Margles, MS
My general interest is in the interactions between people and protected areas. This includes both social and ecological interactions resulting from the existence of conservation areas. More specifically, I am interested in how different land use types adjacent to protected area boundaries influence animal activity both within and beyond park boundaries. I am interested in how this activity influences forest processes. How these different matrices influence human activity is also of interest.

Tamarra H. Martz, MS Tamarra H. Martz, MS
My main interest lies in the health of African non-human primate populations. With more and more of the earth’s habitats becoming anthropogenically altered, it is important to monitor the health of these primate populations as well as examine the epidemiological factors involved.


Jessica Mathon, MSJessica Mathon, MS
My interest is in large carnivore conservation and human/ wildlife conflict in Africa. My thesis focuses on a non- profit organization in Zimbabwe, Painted Dog Conservation, and how its community outreach programs are targeting conservation of the endangered painted hunting dog, while attempting to improve the education and economic opportunities for the surrounding communities.

Rachel McShane, MSRachel McShane, MS
I am not only interested in research, but would also enjoy educating the public about wildlife diversity; in particular, I am interested in working with indigenous peoples to create land-management plans that are economically feasible yet still afford the greatest possible level of protection to the inhabitants of neighboring forests.

David Meek, MSDavid Meek, MS
My present research interests focus on traditional people, in the context of how their economic needs influence their interactions with the environment, and how these practices affect efforts at environmental conservation. I am also interested in examining how natural resource exploitation fuels civil strife, and how the effects of these conflicts influence the interactions between humans and the environment, often resulting in ethical and practical dilemmas for conservationists.

Lauren Miller, MSLauren Miller, MS
My central focus is on avian conservation across universal boundaries. Currently I am concerned with rare habitats and biodiversity. My master’s thesis will focus on grassland habitats of New England and understanding the variables that are most important for rare species.


No Picture AvailableTyler Miller, MS



Diane Milliken, MSDiane Milliken, MS
The increasingly plagued ecosystem in my backyard, and injured sense of community within my hometown, has inspired me to investigate holistic management approaches that thoughtfully integrate and support ecology, economics, culture, politics and advocacy in a way that benefits both the community and the environment. Based on the exact or comparable infrastructure of a special area management plan (SAMP), I would like to work with urban and rural coastal communities in not only New England, but the Tropics as well, to successfully assess, protect, utilize and plan the future use of their coastal resources.

Krista Muller, MSKrista Muller, MS
From early childhood, I found myself in awe of the marine environment and its inhabitants. Over the past ten years, I have had many wonderful opportunities which have enabled me to expand my knowledge about marine mammals. I have also been fortunate enough to share my knowledge and enthusiasm about these creatures with others through teaching in the classroom and in the field.

Rick Newman, PhD Rick Newman, PhD
My research interests essentially revolve around evolutionary avian ecology on islands. My most recent fieldwork has focused on the islands of the Caribbean. I am interested in how ecological communities evolve and how we can integrate what we know about this process into conservation practice.

Vivek Prasad, PhDVivek Prasad, PhD
Vivek Prasad completed his PhD studies in the summer of 2011 in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia, USA. His dissertation took a bottom-up approach and explored the challenges and the potentials of adaptation to climate change. He has extensive operational and research experience on issues related to social and environmental interface. Vivek teaches environmental policymaking in developing countries, and project management for development at GMU while continuing his research in climate change vulnerability, adaptation, and mitigation.

Jill Rolph, MSJill Rolph, MS
Starting in January 2009, I will be teaching three freshman seminar classes at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH. The major goal for these seminars is to provide a real world experience for NH college students. We will be accomplishing this by partnering with the Mayumba National Park Outreach Program in Gabon, Africa, which promotes world conservation awareness, through an international and cultural exchange for students. We hope to encourage youth conservation responsibility, and conduct research on critical issues related to shared wildlife conservation, and sustainable development.

Rebecca Rodomsky, MSRebecca Rodomsky, MS
I am a grad student at Antioch University New England pursuing a Masters in Environmental Studies with and emphasis in Environmental Education. I sought out CTEC to further my professional skills by working for an organization/program seeking to build and strengthen their community by providing excellent service in the area of conservation education.

Chad Skowronski, MS Chad Skowronski, MS
I seek to engage my students with challenging, handson opportunities for exploration and inquiry into some of the most fascinating scientific scenarios out thereLife! My classroom takes this journey every day as we explore science that is both meaningful and relevant to our daily lives. We strive to be active members in our communities, working to educate local citizens and ourselves about our environment.

Jessica Stager, MSJessica Stager, MS
I believe that often times the most direct path to environmental solutions is via simple communication, and in all my work I strive to build bridges between conservation science and public arenas. My current research deals with spatial and temporal patterns of diversity as they relate to human-induced change; my thesis will explore the relationship between semi-natural field management and butterfly diversity in rural region of Vermont.

Sarah Stoner-Duncan, MS studentSarah Stoner-Duncan, MS
I am interested in community centered conservation and place based education. I believe that by involving communities in the conservation research surrounding them, this can help create awareness and interest in land stewardship and the importance of biodiversity. I am especially interested in tropical ecology and conservation. In particular, I would like to focus on sea turtle conservation through working with programs that relieve poaching pressures on turtle eggs.

Lance Tanino, MS studentLance Tanino, MS
I am interested in avian conservation, place-based education, community-based conservation, as well as citizen-science monitoring projects. As a student and graduate, I took advantage of the opportunity to conduct my thesis research on the effects of housing development on spring bird migration in my community of Keene, New Hampshire. I have also been proactively engaged with the local Monadnock Chapter of New Hampshire Audubon by coordinating birding field trips and evening program speakers. My active involvement with my community have resulted in increased participation by local residents as well as out-of-state residents due to educational publicity through local newspaper columns and photos as well as social networking websites.

Julie Tilden, MSJulie Tilden, MS
Birds are usually what draw me to amazing places. I love to travel, explore and learn as much as I can about the environment around me. I am particularly passionate about raptor behavior and migration and hope to continue working and making a difference in the field of conservation.


Tharcisse Ukizintambara, PhD Tharcisse Ukizintambara, PhD
I am interested in the trio habitat – primate – people interactions; it is the topic I am focusing on in order to grasp an understanding of the impact of disturbance on habitat dynamics and species survival and the ecological processes governing forest structure; forest fragmentation and habitat quality; and plant and animal species survival strategies.

No Picture AvailableLee Ann Woolery, PhD
My doctoral research focuses on knowing changes in our environment, issues pertinent to ecological sustainability through methodologies that do not rely on the dominant Western scientific paradigm of logic and reason. I have developed and put a name to these intentional methods of art making and call it, art-based perceptual ecology (Woolery, 1999).

Magdalena Vinson, MS studentMagdalena Vinson, MS
I am interested in place-based education and school/community garden programs. I believe that one of the first steps to getting young people to care about the environment is to introduce them to the world immediately surrounding them. Incorporating the outdoors into school curriculums not only teaches the skills needed for standardized testing, it also teaches many life lessons that are often left at the wayside in the current education trends in the U.S. Another way to get children outside is through school gardening programs. Through these programs, children are connected with their local food community, and begin to learn where their food comes from and what can be found in what season.

Samson Werikhe, PhD studentSamson Werikhe, PhD student
My research interests are in exploration and design of better conservation strategies for mountain gorillas, among other endangered species. Involvement of young people in decision making based on their knowledge and experience is vital in my conceptualization process. My previous research on gorillas in Uganda’s Virungas greatly improved the conservation and management of these endangered apes in the area. I envisage yet another significant contribution towards gorilla conservation via active youth engagement.

Carrie Wheelock, MS studentCarrie Wheelock, MS
My primary interest is in coral reef ecology, conservation, and education. My interest in coral reefs began in 2003 when I was doing research on the Great Barrier Reef.


Guihong Zhang, MSGuihong Zhang, MS
Forests not only play a fundamental role in global heat balance, global cycles of the elements (such as carbon and nitrogen), the hydrologic cycle, and soil stabilization, but they are also one of the biggest natural resources for human beings and wildlife as well. How to keep forests healthy and productive has long been a challenge facing forest scientists.