Student Testimonials

Sean T. Giery

Florida International University
Raney Fund Award, 2011

“Effects of anthropogenic ecosystem fragmentation on sexual selection in the Bahamas mosquitofish (Gambusia hubbsi)”

Sean Giery collecting mosquitofish in the Bahamas

Within days of receiving the Raney Award I was en route to my field site in The Bahamas. My dissertation research demands a significant amount of travel among the various human-altered estuaries that are the focus of my study. The Raney Award funding has enabled me to continue data collection for another field season. In addition, receiving recognition from ASIH has provided a significant boost to my development as a scientist. Thank you ASIH.

Susan King

Eastern Kentucky University
Gaige Fund Award, 2011

“Differential fitness and nest site characteristics of four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum) in natural and constructed ponds”

Susan King conducting field work

My project involved hiking into remote wilderness and spending hundreds of hours intensively searching wetlands for four-toed salamander nests. I followed approximately 300 nests weekly, and measured microhabitat variables at each nest and determined hatching success. The Gaige Award was crucial to fund traveling thousands of miles to and from my field sites in Daniel Boone National Forest. As a first-year Master’s student, I am honored to receive such a prestigious award and be recognized by the distinguished members of ASIH and other professional herpetologists. I look forward to presenting the results of this research at next year’s World Congress of Herpetology.

Lengxob Yong

East Carolina University
Raney Fund Award, 2011

“Ecological and hormonal correlates of derived masculinized traits in female threespine sticklebacks”

Lengxob Yong in the field collecting sticklebacks

Being a Raney Award recipient is a great honor! The award has financially facilitated my travels to my field sites in British Columbia, Canada and the purchased of crucial experimental supplies. Thanks to the award, we will soon now how and why some female stickleback populations have evolved male typical traits. All in all, the award has greatly reinforced my scientific thoughts and goals and helped me gather data for future grant-in-aid opportunities.

Tara A. Pelletier

Louisiana State University
Gaige Fund Award, 2011

"Species delimitation in western Plethodon salamanders: insights into historical geography"

Tara Pelletier sequencing DNA in a lab

My dissertation goals are to explore the evolutionary processes of western Plethodon salamanders, from the level of the population up to species. Accurately identifying species boundaries is the first step in this process. The Gaige Fund Award has allowed me to begin the collection of DNA sequence data for two species of Western Plethodon salamanders. These data contribute to a larger body of work including other western Plethodon species. My aim for this project is to accurately define species boundaries in this group in order to further investigate the evolutionary processes that play a significant role in speciation of terrestrial salamanders.

Apalone ferox
photo of a western pigmy rattlesnake on a rock
cleared and stained female salamanderfish