My interest in wildlife began when I was a child growing up in
Cincinnati, Ohio. My mom recalls me bringing garter snakes and wasps
into the house when I was only 2 years old, but my earliest memories of
my interest in animals come from visiting pet stores with my father and
exploring the limestone creeks and forested hillsides of western
I moved from Cincinnati in 1995 to accept a job at The Toledo Zoo. When I arrived at Toledo, the zoo had less than 40 amphibians in their collection. Six years later, that number had grown to over 500, and included an impressive "Frogtown, USA" exhibit, celebrating the frogs and toads that were once so numerous in the Great Black Swamp that visitors to the area often complained of the noise.
After leaving the zoo, I completed my Masters in biological sciences under Dr. Karen Root, and began my own herpetological and GIS consulting business. My studies at BGSU focused on GIS, remote sensing, and Population Viability Analysis for conservation.
In 2014, I took a position with Ohio State University while continuing to maintain residence in northwest Ohio. I spend most of my time (both on and off the clock) thinking about amphibian and reptile conservation and developing plans, projects, and partnerships to recover populations.
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