IRES fellows-Current

Lauren Hitt – Tulane University

LaurenI’m a sophomore at Tulane University double-majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Classical Studies, plus I’m a Netflix and ultimate frisbee aficionado on the side. Growing up in Colorado, I’ve always loved exploring the outdoors and first became interested in a career in the sciences while volunteering at Denver Zoo. At Tulane, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Alaska and perform research on threespine stickleback reproduction, but this will be my first experience working with birds. I hope to go on to a career in conservation or a similar field. I am so excited to gain more field experience this summer in Australia and to learn more about this incredible system!


Tess Kendrick – William and Mary
TessI am currently a sophomore at William and Mary studying Biology. An avid animal and nature lover, I grew up hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains and spent most of my weekends riding horses at a barn nearby. At William and Mary I am involved in research studying the effects of Mercury in zebra finches. I am also a member of the William and Mary Choir. I am very excited for this opportunity to participate in field research as well as to explore Australia!


Megan Massa – William and Mary

MeganI am a rising senior at the College of William and Mary majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Science. I am deeply curious about the aesthetics and behavior of animals, having studied scientific illustration at the National Museum of Natural History and worked as a naturalist in my local park. I also have a great passion for birds and birdwatching, which I discovered through the Bird Club of William and Mary. The chance to study visual signals and behavior in Australian birds is the perfect field experience for me!

Sam Hagler – Cornell University

Sam.jpgI study ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell, and I have a strong interest in ornithology, animal behavior, and conservation biology. My love of birds and wildlife conservation started in fifth grade when I learned about peregrine falcons for the first time, but since then I’ve come to love just about any and all birds. At Cornell, I do research on sooty shearwater movements and avian hybrid zones, and I hope to do field research in the future on the evolution of cooperation in birds, especially cooperative raptors like Harris’s hawks. There is a special place in my heart for raptors, thrushes, fantails, and Lewin’s honeyeaters.

Jess Taylor – Cornell University

JessI’m a senior at Cornell University majoring in animal science but un-officially concentrating in wildlife. When I’m not studying I’m leading backpacking, rock climbing, or sea kayaking trips for Cornell Outdoor Education. My passion for animals and the outdoors combines pretty perfectly in wildlife research. I’m really interested in ecology and the different ways species interact with each other. In addition to my project on fairy wrens parasites in Australia I’ve also been able to do a project in Argentina on bone distribution in the Patagonian steppe looking for patterns in where scavengers choose to consume their food!


Tony Brown – Tulane University