After graduating from Hendrix College with a B.A. in Biology I earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake where I conducted my thesis research on, “The Distribution and Life History Characteristics of the Saltmarsh Topminnow (Fundulus jenkinsi) in Texas”. During this time I also worked at the Environmental Institute of Houston (EIH) assisting and helping lead a variety of environmental field studies. I joined the Schwalb lab in summer 2016 and am now pursuing a PhD in Aquatic Resources at Texas State University. My research will focus on the impacts of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) to Texas systems as well as the mechanisms facilitating the downstream dispersal of zebra mussels from invaded reservoirs. These findings will facilitate our understanding about the expense of the threat of zebra mussel invasion within Texas and provide information needed for management decisions.
Studying mussel host fish relationships
Testing the effectiveness of different host fish for juvenile propagation of threatened unionid mussels in Central Texas.
Comparing survey methods for freshwater mussels in Central Texas
After completing a B.S. Biology at Texas State University in 2016, I am continuing my studies at Texas State University in the MS Aquatic Resources program investigating the uptake of trace elements and biochemical response of unionid mussels exposed to complex urban contamination in the Guadalupe River under the co-advisement of Dr. Astrid Schwalb and Dr. Jessica Dutton.
I am currently in the PhD program in Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph (co-advised by Dr. Schwalb and Dr. Cottenie) after having completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Environmental Science at the University of Guelph. My project explores metacommunity dynamics of fish in the Virgin River, with a focus on determining factors related to the decline of the endemic and critically endangered woundfin (Plagopterus Argentissimus).
Schwalb lab Alumni
Bianca Hernandez, graduated 2016 Thesis: “Movement behavior of unionid mussels in Central Texas”
Jenae Olson, graduated 2016 Thesis: “Dispersal of zebra mussels downstream of an invaded reservoir.”
Rebecca Zawalski, graduated 2017
Thesis: “Benthic macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure of the Guadalupe River Basin, TX.”