Graduate Students

Allison Collins watching primates in PeruAllison Collins

M.W.S. Student, Wildlife Science                                                  B.S. 2014, Texas A&M University, Psychology


I am broadly interested in endangered species ecology, animal behavior, and conservation biology. I recently completed a full field season in Peru on my research project “Brown titi monkey (Callicebus brunneus) home range use, feeding ecology, and activity budget in disturbed versus undisturbed rainforest in southeastern Peruvian Amazon”.

jessJessica Gilbert

Ph.D. Student
B.S. 2008, University of Rhode Island, Biological Sciences


I am interested in assessing the effectiveness of protected areas systems in achieving conservation objectives. My current research focuses on the interactions between human activity and biodiversity conservation in a high altitude biosphere reserve. I am particularly interested in understanding how traditional livestock grazing systems affect the distribution of medium and large mammals in the tropical Andes.  I am a trainee in the NSF-IGERT Applied Biodiversity Sciences Program, a Texas A&M Merit Fellow , and the recipient of an InterAmerican Development Foundation Fellowship and a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship.

Shelby Web PicShelby McCay

M.S. Student

B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University – 2015


I am currently one of the New World Program Coordinators for the IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group and a certified IUCN Red List Trainer based at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. I earned my B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in May 2015 from Texas A&M and am currently pursuing a Master of Natural Resource Development. Broadly, I am interested in conservation biology, threatened and endangered species, and natural resource policy. My true passion lies in conserving and educating the public about small mammals and other uncharismatic species. My master’s work focuses on how IUCN Red List data is used in the development and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and how National Red Lists assist in conservation planning and actions in New World countries.


IMG_1411Jaileen Riviera

M.S. Student
B.A. 2016, Universidad de Puerto Rico -Humacao


I am a first graduate student pursuing a Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Master degree. I hold a BS. degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Puerto Rico – Humacao. I am primarily interested in tropical ecology, conservation biology, and endangered species ecology.

IMG_3410Nicolette (Nikki) Roach

PhD student

B.S. 2010, University of California – Davis, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology                          

M.S. 2015, Clemson University, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Email:, Website:

I aim to address urgent conservation issues as they relate to biodiversity and conservation planning.  I obtained my MS from Clemson University in May 2015, where I studied the effects of sea level rise on marsh bird vulnerability. My primary research interests focus on the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances (climate change, land-use change) on wildlife communities, landscape ecology, and human-wildlife interactions. I also have a strong interest in science policy and communications and videography. I am always looking to collaborate via research, communications, or film. Feel free to contact me or follow me on twitter @niksroach!

intreemonteverdeJordan Rogan

Ph.D. Student
B.A. 2014, Wheaton College (Mass.), Environmental Science


I am a student in the Applied Biodiversity Sciences (ABS) Doctoral program. My research is focused on the use of habitat thresholds and species-specific functional traits to determine the resilience of mid-large mammals to land cover change in fragmented landscapes. My study site is in the tropical montane forest region of Monteverde, Costa Rica. I am broadly interested in conservation biology, community-based conservation planning, human-wildlife dimensions, social-ecological systems and landscape ecology. I am also currently a mentor for the Applied Biodiversity Sciences (ABS) Conservation Scholars undergraduate research and internship program


Ph.D. Student

B.S. and M.S., Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Lima, Peru                                 


I am a native of Peru, and my broader interests are in the conservation and management of biodiversity in the Neotropics. I am currently studying aspects of the behavior and ecology of macaws in Peru. My dissertation focus is on scarlet macaw reproductive ecology, particularly to determine ecological factors affecting reproduction. I am active in the Applied Biodiversity Sciences doctoral program and am the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Grand Challenges Project: Building Climate Resilience: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Water, Agriculture and Biodiversity in Arid Regions.

Thayer_picAnastasia Thayer

Program Coordinator


I am an applied economist by training. My current work focuses on modeling changes to agriculture in the High Plains of Texas as a result of declining water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer and climate change. This research also explores possible responses and adaptation strategies to future changes in order to help the region maintain agricultural production. Other projects have included researching various local food movements. Before moving to Texas, I moved around the United States and lived in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Alaska. I enjoy snowy landscapes and any opportunity to be outside.