New graduate and undergraduate students in the Mills Lab

students

This fall the Mills lab welcomed two new graduate students – Kyle Garrison and Brandon Davis – though both have been critical team members for some time now, most recently working as technicians on Scott’s projects in Washington, Montana and West Virginia.  Kyle will be working on his PhD, and Brandon will be starting out as a Master’s student.  We are excited that they are continuing their work with the lab as graduate students here at NCSU.

We also have two new undergraduate students. Sarah Whitcher is Dr. Diana Lafferty’s right hand woman at the hare facility, and De’Aja Sanders, while brand new to our group, will most likely be contributing to our research with the global phenology database.

You can read more about all our new students below.  Welcome everyone!

Kyle Garrison, Ph.D. Student
M.S., Wildlife Science, New Mexico State University
B.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
Research Interests: Kyle recently started his PhD with the Mills lab after working as a field technician for Scott collecting data on snowshoe hare populations in Montana and Washington state. He initially became involved with the research group in 2009 as an undergraduate working on Scott’s field crew and developing research on the relationship between host genetic variability and disease.  Kyle has a master’s degree from New Mexico State University where he studied the foraging ecology of desert bighorn sheep. He is broadly interested in research on animal behavior, genetics, disease, and wildlife-habitat relationships.

Brandon Davis, M.S. Student
B.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
Research Interests: Brandon recently started his MS with the Mills lab after working as a field technician for Scott on snowshoe hares in Montana and leading a pilot project on snowshoe hares and weasels in West Virginia.  As an undergraduate Brandon completed his senior thesis with Scott in Montana.  He is currently developing his MS project and hopes to focus on weasel ecology.

De’Aja Sanders
Background/ Research Interests:  Dee is a Junior Zoology major at NCSU and originally from Durham, NC.   Her research interests include conservation biology and population ecology.  Dee is new to the Mills lab, but will most likely be assisting post-doc Diana Lafferty and contributing to our research with the global phenology database.

Sarah Whitcher
Background/ Research Interests: I am from Apex, North Carolina and I am a senior at NC state majoring in Biology with a concentrated focus in Human Biology and a minor in Spanish. In general, I am interested in how the environment influences epigenetic traits. In Dr. Mill’s lab I am assisting with multiple projects including the role of enrichment in reducing snowshoe hare stress in captivity and an assessment of how variable environmental conditions effect our ability to measure stress in snowshoe hares. I also take photographs of all the snowshoe hares each week to document snowshoe hare molt phenology. In my spare time I enjoy sailboat reconstruction, rock climbing, reading, meeting with friends, and baking cheesecakes.