As a first-generation college student with limited knowledge of what academics actually do, I would not have pursued a career in science without the persistent support and encouragement from my mentors in college. As a mentor to undergraduate students, I aim to provide students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to participate in scientific research and learn the skills necessary to succeed in both ecology and the broader job market. I have had the opportunity to mentor a number of highly motivated undergraduate students through various programs. I have mentored two NSF-funded REU students conducting field research on the effects of conservation corridors on mammal behavior. I have mentored three Biology 152 students in their semester independent research projects. I have also mentored several students conducting laboratory work for credit in the Orrock Lab.

UW-Madison students interested in participating in my research in the Orrock Lab are encouraged to contact me by email. A recent publication (link here) covers many of the benefits of undergraduate research experiences and how these opportunities can improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. This publication also addresses common sources of anxiety in pursuing research opportunities, with a focus on the unique anxieties faced by those with minoritized identities. I am always open to having honest conversations with prospective or current students about how I can make the research environment more welcoming, inclusive, and safe for you; how I can improve as a mentor to meet your individualized needs; and how our collaboration can help you achieve your goals.

Amelia Weidemann, UW – Madison

Amelia started off as a 152 student in 2020 investigating how invasive feral hogs affect deer behavior. She has continued to conduct research in the lab following the completion of her 152 project to continue investigating this question as well as test additional hypotheses that she has formulated about habitat characteristics that may affect deer vigilance.

NSF REU: Suncana Pavlic, UW – Madison

Project Title: “Do conservation corridors modify predator-prey interactions?” 2019-2020

NSF REU: Leotie Hakkila, Emory University

Project Title: “Does edge geometry explain corridor use by large mammals?” 2018-2019

MS in prep: Bartel, SL, L Hakkila, JL Orrock. Conservation corridors modify ungulate antipredator behavior and movement by changing edge geometry.

Bio 152: Lauren Arrett, UW – Madison

Project Title: “Estimating seed removal from mesopredator scat.” 2019

Bio 152: Adeline Zamora, UW – Madison

Project Title: “Effects of land-use history and fire regime on foraging behavior of Sciurus niger.” 2018

Mentored students assisting in graduate research projects:

Cole Nichols (2019-2020), Brianna Van Matre (2018-2019), Emma Callan (2018-2019), Max Czerwonka (2018-2019)

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