Awardee: Samantha Snowden
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Bio: Samantha Snowden is a Master’s student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, co-advised by Greg Grether and Debra Shier. She is interested in bridging ecological research and wildlife conservation. Her previous work includes assessing impacts of forest management on species of concern and contributing to long-term monitoring of bird populations. Currently, she aims to inform endangered species conservation efforts by studying how species interactions impact coexistence and habitat use.
Project Summary: This research focuses on understanding the potential for coexistence of mountain yellow-legged frogs and unarmored threespine stickleback fish, which are both endangered species native to southern California. As managers and conservationists begin to restore their populations, it is important to understand the dynamics of native freshwater communities. This project will use experiments and behavioral observations to characterize interactions between the frogs and fish. In collaboration with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, the results of this research will directly inform reintroduction and management plans for these highly endangered species.