Texas Tech University
Graduate Research Assistant / Ph.D. Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management / Department of Natural Resources Management
Ph.D. Student in Wildlife Science
Spatial Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Disease Ecology of Free-ranging Axis Deer on the Edwards Plateau
I grew up in Southeastern Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point for my undergraduate degree. After graduation I moved to Kentucky to pursue my master’s degree at Western Kentucky University studying the relationship between small mammals, ticks, and Lyme Disease. Afterwards, I decided that I enjoyed wildlife research so much that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. and came to Texas Tech University to study the ecology of free-ranging axis deer. In my spare time I enjoy hunting, hiking, camping, and wildlife photography.
Axis deer were initially introduced into Texas for hunting in 1932. Since then large free-ranging populations have become established throughout the Edwards Plateau. However, due to the lack of regulatory authority over them as exotics, not much is known about their ecology and how they impact the native ecosystems and wildlife in Texas. This project seeks to fill in a number of knowledge gaps regarding the ecology of free-ranging axis deer including their impacts on riparian ecosystems from grazing, resource and habitat selection, population dynamics and herd structuring, disease occurrence and potential spread to white-tailed deer, and genetic diversity.