I received my Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University prior to returning to my alma mater (Andrews University) as faculty in 2013. I specialize in ecology and conservation. I am primarily interested in how species are adapted to their environments and the effects of both natural and human-induced habitat changes on their behavior. My research focus is the behavioral ecology and plasticity of endangered animals. The aim of my research is to incorporate behavioral data into sound conservation strategies that are species- and location-specific. My work has mainly been with manatees in Mesoamerica (Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica), however I also have local projects with endangered species here in southwest Michigan. I am a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation. I'm also a scientific member of the IUCN/SSC Sirenia Specialist Group, Mesoamerica sub-region.