Lab Professionals

Cassie Henry

Post-Doctoral Research Collaborator.

Ph.D. – Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, 2020

B.S. – Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, 2012

Prior to coming to Texas Tech University, I conducted research to study the effects of contaminants on snakes as an undergraduate, and then I worked as a fisheries observer in Alaska, as well as a research technician on several projects that studied turtles in Illinois. I recently graduated from TTU with a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology. My doctoral research focused on conducting studies required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to register a medicated feed to treat parasites in wild northern bobwhite. I also used molecular techniques to identify potential intermediate hosts of those parasites. For my post-doctoral research, I wish to continue studying the impacts parasites have on wild bobwhite.

Aravindan Kalyanasundaram

Post-Doctoral Research Collaborator.

Ph.D. University of Madras, India 2011
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 November 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.

Jeremiah Leach

Ph.D. Graduate Student

B.S. – Wildlife Biology, Texas State University, 2016

M.S. – Wildlife Ecology, Texas State University, 2019

My prior research experience focused on an introduced trematode that infects waterfowl. I surveyed waterfowl across much of Texas to determine prevalence and intensity while also describing the pathology associated with infection. I also conducted an experiment to better understand the behavior of one infective stage of the parasite. My research at TTU will focus on the impacts of parasites on Bobwhite Quail population in the Rolling Plains and will include developing a protocol that utilizes recent advances in DNA sequencing to monitor the endoparasite communities of wildlife.

Hannah Suber

M.S. Graduate Assistant

B.S., Zoology, Liberty University, 2020

I completed my undergraduate degree in Zoological sciences, during which I was heavily involved in various wildlife research projects. My primary focus was on the Peaks of Otter Salamander, a threatened species endemic to only a few mountain peaks in central Virginia. However, my involvement in a project studying Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in frogs and its sister fungus B. salamandrivorans in salamanders quickly piqued a profound interest in epidemiological research, which brought me here to The Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory. Over the course of my graduate studies, I plan on researching the effects of various environmental factors on the epidemiology of parasites found in Bobwhite Quail. Hopefully, this will give vital insight into mitigating these detrimental infections in order to help restore the populations of the iconic gamebird species.

Tammy Henricks

Administrative Assistant

I have been employed at Texas Tech for 27 years with 21 of those working for Dr. Kendall. I retired in December 2020 and returned part-time in March 2021.

Katelyn Conley

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently working on my undergraduate degree at Texas Tech studying Natural Resources Management concentrating in Wildlife Biology. My first research experience was leading a pilot study with Texas Tech and TPWD to assess if quail transmitters could be an effective way to track movement on the Lesser-Prairie Chicken species. I have also aided in other projects with White-Tailed deer, Purple Martins, North American Deer Mice, and now Northern bobwhite. With the Wildlife Toxicology Lab, I am diving in my interest in Wildlife Toxicology and my growing love for upland game. Here, I have learned techniques in DNA extractions, PCR, and field work, which I plan on implementing in my study of foraging efficiency within infected Northern bobwhite. My goal after completing my undergraduate degree is to continue working in research for conservation and management efforts on upland game, as well as waterfowl.

Regan Rivera

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I started at Texas Tech University in fall 2021 in the Natural Resource Management program with a concentration in Wildlife Biology. My interests in wildlife began while working as a veterinary assistant in Pearland. My time in the veterinary field sparked my interest in parasites and wildlife health. These interests drew me to the research being done at WTL. Since starting, I have learned a great deal about quail, parasites, and laboratory field techniques for quail management. The skills I have learned include DNA extraction, quantitative PCR, quail call counts, trapping, communicating with the public, and conducting parasite surveys. I want to use these techniques to study the impacts of parasites and the environment on stress levels in quail. In the future, I want to use my experience to work in the public sector of wildlife management and outreach.

Benjamin Hames

M.S. Graduate Research Assistant

B.S., Biochemistry & Biology, New Mexico State University, 2021

While completing my undergraduate degrees I worked in a neurobiology lab looking at the regenerative capabilities of South American electric fish. I looked after 2 -3 dozen fish of various species all of which had the ability to regrow large portions of their tales after they were removed. In the last year of my undergraduate studies I took part in a summer internship exploring the possibility of using cysteine dense proteins as a heat stable alternative to current snake antivenoms. These projects got me comfortable working with animals and taught me various laboratory techniques including microscopy and PCR. My work in the Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory here at TTU will focus on medicated feed treatment strategies.