Texas A&M University
Postdoctoral Research Associate
I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Cook Wildlife Lab at Texas A&M University. I have always been fascinated by wildlife and motivated to find a way to protect it. I made every effort to start gaining experience with animals early in my childhood, but truly began developing my professional career in wildlife while completing my bachelor’s in wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During a study abroad trip in South Africa, I learned about the burden that wildlife diseases place on conservation efforts. I was particularly intrigued by the ecology of anthrax, the fly transmission pathways that help exacerbate outbreaks and the interconnectedness of animals, microbes and the environment. This curiosity led me to pursue my PhD because I wanted to solve problems for wildlife and develop new ideas to push the wildlife and conservation fields forward. My PhD research at Texas A&M University laid the groundwork for this oral anthrax vaccine by first demonstrating that the current commercial vaccine is not effective when orally administered. Next, I created a new vaccine formulation, tested it in mice and recently published the success I observed from this first phase of vaccine development in npj Vaccines. With your generosity and support, I am excited to do my small part to save wildlife by continuing to develop this vaccine for future incorporation into wildlife bait.