I earned my undergraduate degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. While there, I studied songbird nestlings’ diet, prepared museum specimens for the Museum Ornithology Lab, and researched how male and female Golden Eagles utilized niche partitioning to avoid competing with each other. Broadly, I am interested in anthropogenic effects on birds and plan to study carriers of parasites potentially common between Northern Bobwhite Quail and various songbirds.
Prior to coming to Texas Tech University, I worked on the maternal transfer of methylmercury from mother to neonates and subsequent effects on neonate behavior and performance. I also looked at the effects of parasite load on leukocyte counts. My research interests are in the effects contaminants have on wildlife populations. At Texas Tech, my research will focus on the efficacy of a medicated feed.
Cusaac, J.P.W., V. Kremer, R. Wright, C. Henry, R.R. Otter, and F.C. Bailey. 2015. Effects of Maternally-Transferred methylmercury on Stress Physiology in Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) Neonates. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Accepted.
M.Sc. Biotechnology, Bharathidasan University, India 2003
B. Sc. Biochemistry, Periyar University, India 2001
I graduated with a Ph.D in Biotechnology from the University of Madras (Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture-ICAR) in N0vember 2011. My doctoral research has focused on identifying novel seafood allergens (Pen m 3.0101, Pen m 4.0101 & Pen m 6.0101) in black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon. My previous research experience dealt with the molecular epidemiology of ticks and tick borne diseases, and epidemiological studies focusing on anthelmintic resistance in nematodes that affect ruminants. The objective was to identify potential recombinant vaccine candidates to combat parasite infections in ruminants. As a Post-Doctoral Research Investigator in the Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory, I wish to advance our understanding of the pathogenicity and life cycle of parasites in quail.
I am currently working on Monarch butterfly studies in the Department of Biology under the direction of Dr. Ron Kendall.
Prior to coming to Texas Tech University, I worked with the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research unit on an avian behavioral ecology and site-specific hunter participation project. Hunter effort and harvest information was assessed through the use of interviews and quantitative analysis, while telemetry and GPS tracking reflected how this hunting pressure could potentially influence ringnecked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) home range selection. My research interests include potential benefits derived from the interdependence of hunters and game species; and the roles hunters, land owners, and land managers play in conservation and resolving local environmental concerns
B.S. Biochemistry, Middle Tennessee State University 2013
My Master’s research was focused in two parts, on the purification of the enzyme purine nucleoside phosphorylase from bovine liver using protein liquid chromatography techniques, and the characterization of that enzyme through substrate specificity studies, enzymatic velocity studies and the determination of the enzyme’s kinetic mechanism. Additionally, I worked as an associate scientist in Downstream Process Development in Biologics at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Devens, Massachusetts.``
B.S. – Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2015
Before joining the Wildlife Toxicology Lab at Texas Tech, I completed my Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. During my Master’s, I studied avian haemosporidia in Cattle Egrets and their historic global expansion. In between my Bachelor’s and Master’s, I spent a year working as a research technician where I worked on a variety of projects including EHD in white-tail deer, Trypanosoma spp. in Guineafowl, disease and genetics of rodents in Eswatini, meso carnivore land use in Eswatini, and tick-borne pathogens of cattle and Florida wildlife. During my undergraduate, I studied giraffe genetics of two isolated populations, life history of rodents in lowveld savanna habitat, and the use of weevils as a biocontrol agent for Brazilian peppertree. My research interests include avian ecology, landscape ecology, and the impacts of disease on wildlife.
B.A.— Biology, Hendrix College, Conway, AR, 2014.
Before Texas Tech, my undergraduate research focused on the evolutionary ecology of fish and researching copperhead venom genes. My master’s research focused on studying the prevalence of the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) in Lower Saxony, Germany. Additional projects I worked on during my degree were investigating the relationship between disease and the decline of ring-necked pheasant populations, localizing and characterizing an enzyme from parasitic nematodes found in pigs, assisting in parasite diagnostics for the Canadian Wildlife Health Centre, as well as performing muskox lung dissections and fecal examinations for the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
I am currently working in the Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Ron Kendall to design and conduct lab experiments involving northern bobwhite quail, and the life cycles of parasites pertaining to quail of the Rolling Plains. My research interests include parasitology, pathobiology, and emerging and infectious diseases.