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Colorado Mesa University


Patrice Connors is an assistant professor of biology at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO.  She most recently studied the ecological physiology of desert dwelling woodrats or packrats, but she is broadly interested in how mammals physiologically respond to changes in their environments. Her favorite mammal changes daily, so be sure to ask!  She teaches a range of courses for biology majors, from Principles in Zoology to Ecology, to non-majors courses like Animal Biology. When not in the lab or the classroom, she enjoys hiking with her dog, bike rides that end at pizza shops, and reading a good book on the beach.


University of Portland


Laurie Dizney is an assistant professor at the University of Portland in Portland, OR. Working at a small university has allowed her to conduct research in many new areas including restoration ecology and invertebrate biology, but her heart will always belong to mammals! She has conducted mammal research involving behavior, population biology, and disease ecology, with the common theme of wildlife conservation. She teaches Introduction to Evolution and Ecology to 1st and 2nd year students, as well as Conservation Biology to juniors and seniors. Her free time is spent reading, cooking, and hiking.  


California State University, Monterey Bay


Jenny Duggan is an assistant professor of wildlife biology at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Much of her research focuses on wildlife responses to changes in land use and land cover, but she is excited to work on anything related to charismatic mammals like squirrels, woodrats, and kangaroo rats. She advises both undergraduate and graduate student researchers at CSUMB and teaches courses in mammalogy, vertebrate natural history, and landscape ecology. Outside of teaching and research, she can be found baking cookies, visiting thrift stores, or hiking with her dog.


Warren Wilson College

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Liesl Peterson Erb is conservation biology faculty at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. She focuses her research on mammals on mountaintops: high elevation specialists feeling the pinch of climate and land use change, such as pikas and Appalachian cottontails. Liesl loves teaching in a small liberal arts setting with an applied focus, where she teaches classes ranging from General Biology and Introductory Environmental Studies to Mammalogy and senior-level conservation capstone courses. She also spends a great deal of time mentoring the next generation of conservation biologists in their senior thesis research. Outside of school, Liesl loves to hike, camp, garden, and cook, all in the company of her blended family of bipeds and quadrupeds.


Purdue University


Liz Flaherty is an associate professor of wildlife ecology and habitat management in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. Her research investigates wildlife associations with habitat and specifically, responses to habitat fragmentation using applied and theoretical tools that include a variety of field methods, stable isotope analysis, and energetics research. She teaches wildlife investigational techniques, wildlife habitat management, a week of the department’s summer field practicum course, and a course that prepares undergraduate students to attend their first conference. She spends her free time hiking with her dogs.


Institute for Biodiversity Research & Education


John Hanson is the director of the Institute for Biodiversity Research and Education. His research focus is on neotropical systematics and he is passionate about involving students in field research, especially students who haven't had exposure to "nature". He also works in Clinical Laboratory Science as a laboratory director and consultant. In his free time he likes to be outside - especially if it means he can spend time with his chickens (he also loves his 4 dogs, 4 cats, 3 rabbits, hedgehog, skunk, axolotl, tree frog, and 2 gold fish - but really his chickens).


University of Oklahoma

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Hayley Lanier is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology and an assistant curator of mammals at the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma. Her research is focused on the evolutionary ecology of mammals, with an emphasis on the role that landscape history has played in shaping the distribution of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in alpine mammals (particularly pikas, marmots, and ground squirrels). She leads a diverse lab group of graduate students and undergraduates, and teaches courses in mammalogy and evolutionary biology. In her free time she enjoys swimming, reading, and going on camping trips with her husband and toddler.


Colorado Mesa University


Johanna Varner (aka “Pika Jo”) is an assistant professor of biology at Colorado Mesa University, in Grand Junction, CO. Although her research focuses on pikas (small lagomorphs, not squirrels), she has always had a soft spot for golden mantled ground squirrels, marmots and prairie dogs. She teaches all levels of undergraduate courses, from General Human Biology (101 for nonmajors) to Senior Thesis and upper division electives in Animal Behavior and Mammalogy. She is also actively involved in citizen science and public engagement in science through diverse media. In her spare time, she brews beer, runs on trails, and skis.


University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

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Chris Yahnke is a professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and curator of birds and mammals in the Museum of Natural History at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.  He has published on the evolution of Chilean foxes, hantaviruses in Paraguayan small mammal communities, Pleistocene fossil deer in Wisconsin, and teaching biology.  He teaches a variety of courses for biology and wildlife ecology majors, including mammalogy, comparative anatomy of vertebrates, principles of evolution, and introductory biology.  He wrote a Wisconsin bat curriculum for high school biology teachers. In his free time he plucks guitar, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele and watches Hallmark movies with his wife.

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