I have the joy of working with many different folks. In particular, I serve the 40+ collaborators that participate in the Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaboration Network (SPARCnet). They are too numerous to mention here, but please explore the network website:


Comparative & Ecological Physiology Lab

Ruud Schilder serves on my committee and plays an integral role in my respirometry research–allowing me to invade his lab space for hundreds of hours to measure salamander metabolic rate.



David Ensminger PhD – David and I worked together to develop a research project with Destini Acosta (see below). David is a physiological biologist who works on a wide range of systems. His expertise in hormone extraction helped guide Destini’s lab research.

Alex Novarro PhD – Alex and I share study organisms–the one salamander to rule them all, Plethodon cinereus. Alex has been a fountain of advice for my metabolic research and Destini’s project. He and I also collaborated on part of his dissertation modeling salamander surface activity patterns.



Carli Dinsmore – Carli and I met during her final year of her undergraduate degree at Penn State. She is now a M.S. in the Applied Population Ecology Lab. Carli and I work closely on developing individual growth models to understand environmental and biological predictors of growth in both snakes and salamanders.




Undergraduate Students and Research Associates


Destini Acosta (’18) – Destini and I met through the 2017 Summer Research Opportunities Program at Penn State. She and I worked together on measuring stress hormones in salamanders. We expanded upon the project during the fall, conducting surveys to measure stress hormones across the 24h diel cycle. Her project culminated in a presentation at the 2018 Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition.  She now works as a wildlife rehabilitation assistant.


Victoria “Torey” Vayer (’17) – Torey completed her degree in Biology and joined the lab as a research assistant for a carnivore project. In her free time she helped me with both my captive salamander work and came out to field nearly every time I did mark-recapture surveys. During our time together she wrote a report on tail deformities in terrestrial salamanders based on observations she made in the field. Her enthusiasm for wildlife, outreach, and the outdoors is only surpassed by her love for ultimate frisbee and crossfit. She began a Master’s program at NC State University in fall 2018.


Eric Teitsworth (’14) – Eric was in the first Wildlife Management class I TA’d. After volunteering on many projects in the lab, he was hired as lab manager in the Applied Population Ecology Lab (2015-2017). It’s a tie between the number of salamanders we’ve caught and the number of table tennis points we’ve played. Eric’s personal interests include herping, birding, and botanizing anywhere and everywhere. After working as a Field Ecologist for Resource Environmental Solutions, he is now working towards a Master’s at NC State (is there a pattern here?). 

Michael Antonishak (’16) – Michael and I worked together during his final two years at Penn State (2015 and 2016). We developed the glow stick research project together and almost got lost in the woods once. Michael graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science and a minor in Forest Ecosystems. As a self-proclaimed generalist, you can find him chasing the Southeastern myotis in Congaree National Park or stalking the Plains Spadefoot Toad in Yellowstone. Wherever he may be, he is pursuing his passion to increase our understanding of the natural world.



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