I am broadly interested in how anthropogenic change impacts species and ecological communities.



2013    Northern Illinois University – B.S. in Environmental Science: Biodiversity and Restoration Minor: Biological Sciences GPA: 3.44  



2016    Minton, M., and Barber, N. A., L. L. Gordon. 2016. Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on induced defense in two Solanum species. Plant Ecology and Evolution 149: 157-164.



2014    Southwest Herpetological Society Summer Conference: Jump Back to the Santa Monica Mountains: The Re-Introduction of California Red-Legged Frogs

2013    NIU Undergraduate Special Opportunities in Research and Artistry Day: Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Induced Defenses on Insect Herbivore Growth



2017    Research Assistant, Centro de CDS, Oxapampa Peru

§  Conducting visual surveys for Rhinella leptoscelis and Rhinella yunga to collect behavioral data during breeding season

§  Collecting egg masses of R. leptoscelis and R. yunga and monitoring the development through all Gosner stages

§  Preserving tadpoles at each Gosner stage for morphological and ear structure evolution studies in collaboration with Colorado State University   

§  Identifying orchid species found in the Parque Nacional Yanagucaha and surrounding areas and recording monthly phenology

§  Collaborating on a publication of orchid phenology with the biologists at CDS

2017    Field Biologist, Institute of Wildlife Studies, Eugene Oregon

§  Conducting demographic studies with Northern red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) and Hydaspe fritillary butterflies (Speyeria hydaspe)

§  Conducting Northern red-legged frog egg mass surveys to determine reproductive output, development rate, and hatching success

§  Dip-netting and marking tadpoles, metamorphs, and adults for mark-recapture analysis with visible elastomer tags to determine survival across life stages

§  Monitoring Hydaspe fritillary butterflies by mark-recapture analysis to determine survival, dispersal, and nectar plant use

§  Identifying native butterfly species for a species richness survey

§  Conducting nectar plant surveys to determine phenology of flowering plants

§  Entering data and participating in weekly Skype meetings with the IWS team


2015    Field Project Coordinator, Reserva Playa Tortuga, Ojochal Costa Rica

§ Designed project protocols for capture techniques, survey effort for spotlight surveys, collection of tissue samples, and data collection and analysis

§ Monitored crocodilian species with mark recapture technique using caudal scale notching to determine abundance and dispersal, and collected tissue samples for contaminant analysis

§ Monitored olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) with mark recapture technique of saturation tagging, collected morphological data, skin, and carapace biopsies to combine with long term data for population analysis

§ Collected and transferred sea turtle eggs to a constructed hatchery, protected nests from loss to poachers, monitored incubation temperature with HOBO loggers, and collected morphological data on hatchlings

§ Participated in outreach programs for local schools and the community on the importance of conserving habitat, protecting endangered species, and being a conscious steward to the environment


2015    AmeriCorps Research Member, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island Georgia

§ Designed and implemented an independent research project to inventory the diversity of small mammals across habitat types

§ Conducted dawn and night patrols for nesting Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles, collected morphological and habitat data, applied flipper tags and PIT tags, and relocated imperiled nests

§ Supervised and trained interns and volunteers on performing sea turtle patrol duties including collecting morphological data, applying flipper tagging, excavating nests, and entering data

§ Monitored American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) with mark recapture method of caudal scale notching and assisted with the application of GPS loggers to track movements and home range

§ Radio tracked eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) and eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) to determine habitat use and home range


2014    Wildlife Technician, Kanahau, Utila, Honduras

§ Tagged critically endangered spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri) using beads and PIT-tags to determine their abundance, habitat use, and to develop a conservation plan

§ Assisted with inventory of bat species by mist-netting

§ Developed environmental education presentation for Honduran grade schools

2014    Wildlife Technician, Belize Foundation for Environmental Education, Toledo District, Belize

§ Conducted visual observations of the behavior and activity levels of critically endangered hicatee river turtles (Dermatemys mawii) as part of a captive breeding project

§ Rebuilt nesting areas using three substrates to determine preference during nesting

§ Collected morphological data and palpated females to determine their health during the acclimation period in constructed breeding ponds


2014    Wildlife Biology Intern, National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains, California

§ Conducted stream surveys identifying larval and adult amphibians by dip-netting, sweep samples, and egg mass surveys to determine breeding amphibian populations and the presence of invasive species in natural and urbanized habitats

§ Assisted on the translocation of the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) by transferring egg masses to constructed enclosures for soft release in extirpated streams

§ Monitored tadpole development during acclimation period in soft release enclosures

§ Monitored reptiles by pitfall trapping with mark recapture technique using toe clipping, to determine the presence and abundance of common and rare species, their use of habitat in fragmented patches, and implementing management plans for threatened species


2013    Conservation Field Intern, Lincoln Park Zoo: Urban Wildlife Institute, Chicago, Illinois

§ Monitored small mammals with mark recapture technique using ear-tagging, to determine the abundance of rare species, their use of restore habitats, and implementing a reintroduction plan for meadow jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius intermedius)

§ Tracked reintroduced meadow jumping mice from a captive breeding program using radio telemetry

§ Constructed soft release enclosures for meadow jumping mice to compare the survivorship to hard release individuals

§ Monitored reintroduced and resident populations of smooth green snakes (Opheodrys vernalis) with mark recapture using ventral scale cautery, in restored grassland sites with coverboards and visual encounters

§ Conducted independent research comparing mammal abundance in invasive buckthorn sites versus cleared sites


2012    Laboratory Intern, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield, Illinois

§ Assisted in collecting and analyzing data from water samples

§ Developed summary reports for IEPA and clients documenting toxicity levels

§ Gained knowledge of laboratory procedures and safety and regulatory protocols



2013    Independent Research, Northern Illinois University Advisor: Dr. Nick Barber

§ Planted and cultivated Solanum species in a randomized block design

§ Inoculated soil with Rhizophagus irregularis arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi (AMF), sprayed jasmonic acid (JA) to induce plant defenses, and tested plant defenses by adding a natural herbivore, Manduca sexta, to each plant

§ Analyzed results using generalized linear models


2010    Tropical Field Course, Lincoln Land Community College, Belize

§ Surveyed the dispersal and abundance of the invasive lionfish species in Belize coastal waters to consolidate with long term data



2013    Student of the Year Award, Northern Illinois University Career Services Internship

2012    Student of the Month Award, Northern Illinois University Career Services Internship



2015    Educator, Ride Along and Nest Walker Programs, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Georgia

§ Educated guests on the importance of conservation and management research for endangered species while demonstrating the duties required on beach patrols for monitoring nesting sea turtles

2015    Educator, Shell-e-brate Earth Day, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Georgia

§ Educated the public on life histories of local species with live educational animals, the importance of human interactions with wildlife, and the detriment of debris to marine and terrestrial species

2014    Educator, Santa Monica Mountains Science Fest, California

§ Educated the importance of biodiversity in the urban National Park with an interactive game for children acting as a junior biologist collecting reptile and amphibian species in pitfall traps, learning how to identify the species, and the role that they play in the ecosystem

2012    Camp Leader, Junior Governor’s Environmental Corps, Illinois EPA

§ Taught 650 Springfield area students on the importance of protecting Illinois’ air, water, and land resources through interactive games and crafts



2015    Committee Volunteer, Tortuga Beach Committee, Ojochal Costa Rica

§ Participated in trash clean ups on Tortuga beach and presentations for educating the local community on the detrimental impacts of marine debris on wildlife and current research projects at Reserva Playa Tortuga

2015    Wildlife Volunteer, Turtle Survival Alliance and The North America Freshwater Turtle     Research Group, Blue Springs, Florida

§ Used Snorkel surveys for freshwater turtles to collect health assessments and used mark recapture method using scute notching