My interest in bison is both practical and academic: I grew up on a bison ranch in Wisconsin, and have a formal education in geology, biology, paleontology, and wildlife science. The sustainability and security of the bison market are uncertain because of eminent environmental change. My research is focused on bison body size change in response to temperature, including identifying the underlying mechanisms that limit growth and body size. These characteristics influence population dynamics, ecology, and production. My goal is to work with industry mangers and conservationists, applying my unique background and skill set to the conservation and management of bison.
I belong to a wide range of community and professional organizations. I’ve been a member of the National Bison Association for 6 years, and have been involved for over 13 years via National Conferences and networking with members. I’ve been a member of the Minnesota Buffalo Association for about 3 years, and I’ve been involved with MnBA for over 11 years as an active member and participating in varied association events, as well as the Dakota Territory Buffalo Association. I have been distinguished as an Honorary Member of Western Bison Association, of which I am a member of 3 years, for my contributions to bison research and provided a modest research grant. For the last year, I have served as a committee member on the National Bison Association’s Science & Research Committee and on the North American Bison Registry. I have also recently become a member of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) and I have volunteered to serve on the Informatics Committee, where we curate the online content and media profiles for the society. I have recently submitted a manuscript to the ASM Journal of Mammalogy for peer review and publication consideration.
As a fourth year PhD student at Texas A&M University in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences where I am a Boone and Crockett Research Fellow for the Barboza Lab of Wildlife Conservation and Policy, I have received a diverse background in education including geology, biology, paleontology, anthropology, climate change, and wildlife conservation. I apply these resources for a broader perspective and deep understanding of geologic time, cultural connections, geographic scales, and ecological processes to inform bison conservation and management. Leading into a changing environment with limited resources and production, sustainable methods will become more important.
My goal is to become a bison researcher with strong applications to industry and conservation. I will work closely with managers and ranchers to address issues of conservation and production. I do this by studying the primary mechanisms limiting growth and body size: nutrition and thermoregulation. Understanding the processes and mechanisms are important for developing informed policies, procedures, and protocols for conservation, production, and management in natural systems. My education in paleontology and wildlife ecology, background in agriculture, connections to industry, and experience with social media outreach, I will develop accessible research tools and information for managers and ranchers.