ALUMNI

Graduate Students

Neil Estes-- Neil completed an M.S. in Wildland, Aquatic and Wildlife Science and Management  in the Fire Ecology Lab.  Neil earned a B.S. (2015) in Natural Resources Management with a focus in Range Conservation from Texas Tech University.  Before joining the lab, he worked as a shepherd and with the Quail Tech Alliance.  His research interests include maintenance and preservation of native rangelands, fire ecology, and ecosystem restoration.  His thesis examined thistle distribution and thistle-insect communities at the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico.  


Clara Frasconi-Wendt (M.S., Arid Land Studies, Texas Tech University, December 2014)-- Clara completed an M.S. in the Fire Ecology lab studying ant behavior and thermal physiology.  She is pursuing a Ph.D. in biodiversity in Spain.






Nick Goforth-- Nick (M.S.,Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, August 2015).  Originally from Bryant, Arkansas, he earned a B.S. in Ecology and Organismal Biology (2012) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  Previously, he has worked for Audubon and Terracon, performing small mammal surveys, maintained the UALR dermestid beetle colony, and assisted several graduate students on projects.  Nick's primary research interests are in behavioral ecology of mammals (particularly, bats) in relation to their conservation status.  At TTU, he studied the effects of wildfire and prescribed burning on forest-dwelling bats in northern New Mexico.  Nick currently resides in Lubbock, Texas and is looking for employment.  You can follow Nick's blog here.





Rachel Granberg (M.S., Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, December 2014)-- Rachel completed an M.S. in the Fire Ecology lab studying horned lizard home ranges and habitat suitability as they relate to vegetation cover and land management.  While at Texas Tech, she was also a member of the Association of Natural Resources Scientists and the Graduate Student Advisory Council.  She is currently employed as a prescribed fire crew leader with the Alabama Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.









Jonathan Knudsen-- Jonathan completed an M.S. in Wildland, Aquatic and Wildlife Science and Managment in the Fire Ecology Lab in May 2018. Jonathan earned a B.S. (2012) in Biology at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. His previous research projects include: evaluating anecdotal reports of a novel feeding strategy of Chrysemys picta in Western Nebraska for a senior research project at Doane College; conducting frog call surveys, wetland assessments, and sampling tadpoles for chytrid for the Nebraska Cooperative Fisheries and Wildlife Research Unit; and counting tadpoles and collecting habitat data for Alabama A&M University. His research interests include disturbance ecology, restoration ecology, herpetology, arachnology and entomology. His thesis examined impacts of wildland fire on ant community structure and conducting coarse woody debris surveys and evaluating the role of coarse woody debris as refuge for arthropods and amphibians in Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. His other interests include hiking, fly fishing, running, whiskey, Star Wars and his two cats Bo and Belle.


Tabea Malinowski (M.S., Arid Land Studies, Texas Tech University, August 2014)--  Tabea completed an M.S. in the Fire Ecology Lab under the joint advisement of Dr. Verble and Dr. Gad Perry studying predators and thermal profiles of Texas horned lizards.  She currently resides in New Zealand.






Anna Meyer:  (M.S., Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, May 2015)  Anna did her undergraduate research under the direction of Dr. William Platt at Louisiana State University (B.S., 2012).  Her research interests include the impacts of wildland fire on organisms and how fire influences population dynamics and structure.  Her hobbies include reading, swimming, hiking, dancing and horseback riding.  She currently works in private consulting in Washington.






Britt Smith-- Britt completed a Ph.D. in May 2018 in the Fire Ecology Lab. Britt earned a B.S. (2009) in Environmental Science at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He earned an M.S. (2014) in Natural Resource Ecology & Management at Oklahoma State University, where he examined the influences of patch burning and grazing's influence on vegetation and grassland birds. He previously worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife technician on chronic wasting disease surveillance in white tailed deer and for the Southwest Wisconsin Grassland and Stream Conservation Area. His research interests center around fire, vegetation, and animal response in the Great Plains. He is currently working on the influences of prescribed fire and mechanical mesquite removal on insects and northern bobwhite quail in the Texas Rolling Plains. His other interests include botanizing, cycling, cats, indigenous knowledge and cultures, and art.


Undergraduates

Derek Malone (B.S., Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, May 2017)-- Derek earned his degree in May 2017.  He worked as part of the NRM 3323 (prescribed burning) cadre and also participates in our Florida prescribed fire training crew in May.  In addition, he worked as an undergraduate research technician for Dr. Warren Conway on a project utilizing radio telemetry to track mule deer movements in Turkey, TX.  Derek is currently pursuing an M.S. with Dr. Clint Boal.

Ashley Meyer (B.S., Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, May 2010)--  Ashley worked as an undergraduate research and teaching assistant, and she assisted Dr. Verble on a project examining the exoskeletal thickness of nematode-parasitized ants.  She completed an M.S. in Biology at the University of Louisiana--Monroe, and she is now an instructor at Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Her research interests include invertebrate ecology and parasitology

Chris Mitchell (B.S., Natural Resources Management and Chemical Engineering, Texas Tech University, May 2018)-- Chris worked as an undergraduate researcher and honors scholar on Valles Caldera National Park ant communities.  He is pursuing an M.S. in Biology at Villanova.  His research interests include biomimicry and biomechanics.  

Vidhur Sohini (B.S., Business and Biology, Texas Tech University, May 2014)--  Vidhur worked as a Texas Tech Honors Scholar in the Verble lab from 2012-2014.  His work dealt with the relationship between ant limb length and thermal physiology.  Vidhur graduated from TTU in May 2014 and began an MD at TTU Medical School in August 2014.


Matt Teague (B.S., Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, May 2011)-- Matt's work focused on intraspecific communication in periodical cicadas.  Dr. Verble served as a member of his undergraduate research committee.  Matt teaches high school in Arkansas.


Victoria Young (B.S., Biology, Texas Tech University, May 2014)-- Victoria completed the Texas Tech Honors College research experience in the Verble lab from 2012-2013.   Her work focused on thermal physiology in Texas ant species.  

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