Fisheries and Wildlife Mentorship Program Homepage


  • Please contact prospective mentors directly to learn more about specific opportunities.
  • Please be sure to read each Message to Prospective Mentees section carefully before applying.
  • Please Note: Some prospective mentors are advertising research opportunities (Prospective Mentors — Research), whereas others can only offer career advice and aid in the development of professional tools (Prospective Mentors — Non-Research).


Prospective Mentors — Research 

These mentors are actively seeking undergraduates to assist with new and ongoing research activities. These mentors can also assist with the development of professional tools (e.g., CV, resume, application materials) and provide career advice. 

Ryan Baumbusch

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Positions Available: Many

Research Specialties: Terrestrial and Forest Wildlife, Northern Spotted Owls, Barred Owls, Population Ecology, Statistical and Mathematical Modeling

Research Interests: My current research relates to the conversation problems posed to northern spotted owls by the arrival of barred owls from eastern North America. There is an ongoing experiment that is removing barred owls to assess whether this helps spotted owls. I am making use of this experiment to better understand the predator-prey interactions between barred owls and the species they eat. I have a lot of lab work that makes use of the barred owl specimens collected in 3 study areas across Washington and Oregon. I am 2 years into my PhD here at OSU. I Completed my Bachelors and Masters in Wildlife at Humboldt State University in Northern California. Prior to working in wildlife I served 6 years in the Navy operating nuclear reactors.

Message to Prospective Mentees: I have numerous opportunities for students to help with the research we are doing in the lab on campus, including dissecting barred owls for tissue and organ sampling, analyzing stomach contents of barred owls, and chemical analysis of fat storage in owls. Other opportunities may arise in the future as well. Mentees will gain an improved understanding of avian anatomy and physiology as well as the ability to identify a multitude of Pacific Northwest species through external and skeletal characteristics, and come away with a deeper appreciation and knowledge of the complex conservation issue of barred owl and spotted owl competition. Opportunities also exist for mentees to pursue independent research if they desire. No prior lab or research experience is necessary, and ALL who are interested in wildlife biology and conservation are invited to contact me, especially those from underrepresented groups within STEM. Scheduling is very flexible and we can work together to facilitate getting you in the lab around other obligations such as class and work. Beyond hands-on research experience, I am always happy to help with professional development through advice on finding jobs, going to grad school, involvement in professional societies, reviewing resumes and cover letters, and how best to spend the rest of your time here at OSU.


Brittany Schwartzkopf

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Positions Available: 1-2

Research Specialties: Fisheries Science, Fish, diet, feeding ecology, stable isotopes

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student in Scott Heppell's lab and my research focuses on juvenile rockfish life history traits in Oregon's estuaries. The life history traits I will be looking at include age and growth, diet, stable isotope analysis, and otolith microchemistry. I will be comparing these life history traits between different estuaries as well as between eelgrass habitats and dock habitats within each estuary. 

Message to Prospective Mentees: I am looking for a student to assist with laboratory work for my project examining the life history traits of juvenile rockfishes in Oregon estuaries. The laboratory work would consist of helping dissect juvenile rockfishes to extract otoliths for age and growth analysis, and stomachs and tissue samples for diet and stable isotope analysis. If the prospective student is interested, further lab work could involve preparing otoliths and tissue samples for their respective analyses. I am looking for the student to begin now (June 2018) and stay on as long as willing (and as long as there is lab work). Time spent per week is flexible but would hopefully be around 4 hours, one to two days a week.











Prospective Mentors — Non-research

These mentors do not currently have research opportunities but are available to provide assistance with the development of professional tools (e.g., CV, resume, application materials) and career advice.

Andrew Olsen

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Positions Available: 1

Research Specialties: Galliforms (grouse and quail), Terrestrial wildlife conservation, Sagebrush ecosystems, Wildlife population ecology, Habitat selection

Research Interests: My research is focused on conservation of greater sage-grouse by removal of encroaching conifers in sagebrush ecosystems. The anthropogenic increase in these trees is a primary threat to sage-grouse in the Great Basin which requires broad expanses of intact, treeless, sagebrush. More broadly, I am interested in the effects of large-scale management actions on wildlife habitat selection and population dynamics (i.e. Did the management action work?).

Message to Prospective Mentees: I do not currently have any hands-on research opportunities, but am available to chat about graduate school, working cooperatively with federal and state agencies, working on the dry side of the state, or whatever interests you!

Matthew Kaylor

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Positions Available: 1

Research Specialties: Fisheries Science, Stream Ecology, Riparian Forests, Primary Production, Salmonids

Research Interests: Broadly, my research is focused on factors limiting the growth and abundance of juvenile salmonids and resident trout. More specifically, I am interested in how nutrients and light availability can promote greater primary production and heterotrophic production and how this, in turn, can resonate through food webs ultimately influencing fish and invertebrates. My first two years were focused on light availability in western Oregon streams but my current projects are now focusing on nutrient effects in Eastern Oregon.  

Message to Prospective Mentees: I do not currently have any research opportunities. I am happy to serve as a mentor to any undergraduate looking for advice. If you are interested, let's grab a coffee and discuss your interests and how to best proceed.

Christina Murphy

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Positions Available: 1

Research Specialties: Fisheries Science, Fish, Ecology, Limnology, Food Webs

Research Interests: My research focuses on freshwater ecology and hydrological alteration. I work on Willamette Basin Reservoirs examining how different drawdown scenarios change food webs (including fish, macroinvertebrates, and zooplankton) and water quality.

Message to Prospective Mentees: I currently am not seeking a mentee to assist with research, but am happy to work with a mentee on career development and materials. I have experience finding research and funding opportunities at home and abroad and I love working with highly motivated students. In Spring 2017, I see the potential for a reservoir phytoplankton identification offshoot project that could be an independent project for a mentee. For student projects, I prefer to get you started and regularly check-in, but I don't envision constant supervision (drive, independence, reliability, care with samples, and attention to detail are all important traits you should possess).

Peter Kappes

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Positions Available: 2

Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Birds, Conservation Biology, Population dynamics/modeling, Island Ecosystems

Research Interests: I'm particularly interested in research questions that have direct management applications and can be used to inform management scenarios of at-risk populations. I work predominately with marine birds, focusing on population dynamics and modeling and the role marine birds play in island ecosystems. 

Message to Prospective Mentees: I do not have any research opportunities at this time. I have over 20 years of field experience including positions with academic institutions, state, and federal agencies, as well as private consulting firms. I have hired, trained, and supervised students and technicians, and am looking forward to using those experiences to advise undergraduates as they make the jump from undergraduate work to graduate school and/or employment. I also received my MS abroad and have lived and worked abroad, so if you're entertaining the thought of working or going to grad school outside of the US I can help identify potential funding options and help weigh the pros and cons of obtaining a degree at a foreign institution.









Current Mentors

These mentors are currently mentoring undergraduates, but are not actively seeking new mentees. If your research interests align with those of the mentors below, please contact them directly to inquire about possible future research opportunities.


Selene Fregosi

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Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Mammals (marine), Acoustics, Technology, Ecology

Research Interests: I use novel autonomous passive acoustic platforms (robots!) to study the ecology of vocal animals. Basically, I listen for whales and identify where/when specific species are found to study their spatial and temporal distributions. My real passion is using new technologies in bioacoustics as a research tool to study behavioral ecology and sensory biology. Check out my web page:


Brent Barry

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Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Carnivores, metapopulations, noninvasive survey techniques

Research Interests: My research interests are in carnivore populations, particularly mustelids. I am a master's student in Taal Levi's lab and focus on methods of multispecies carnivore surveys in southern Oregon with an emphasis on fisher distributions.   


Tyler Hallman

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Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Avian Ecology, Birds, GIS, Citizen Science, Database

Research Interests: I conduct surveys of the birds in the Willamette Valley in an effort to estimate their current populations and changes in populations since Euro-American settlement in the 1850s. 


Matthew Ramirez

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Research Specialties: Marine ecology, Sea turtles, Population dynamics, Chemical analyses, Conservation biology

Research Interests: I am a doctoral candidate in Selina Heppell's lab. My research is currently focused on the reconstruction of sea turtle life history using multiple chemical approaches performed on their bones, which contain records of age, growth, and past habitat use and diet. This research provides important insight into cryptic life stages of these species and will ultimately be used to better parameterize population models for management and conservation. You can learn more about me and my research on my website:


Samara Haver

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Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Passive acoustics, bioacoustics, anthropogenic impacts, conservation policy

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student in wildlife science and I work within the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies at Hatfield. I am broadly interested in marine protection and conservation, particularly for marine mammals. Currently, I am researching the impact of noise on the marine environment. For my dissertation research, I am comparing deep and shallow-water soundscapes throughout US waters. I use passive acoustic data to compare biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sound sources. 


Dave Roon

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Research Specialties: Fisheries Science, Freshwater ecosystems, Stream-riparian food webs, stream fishes, stream amphibians

Research Interests: I'm a Ph.D. student working with Jason Dunham at USGS. I'm interested in how freshwater ecosystems respond to changing riparian forest conditions. My research takes place in headwater streams in the redwoods of Northern California and evaluates the effects of experimental riparian thinning treatments on stream temperature and macroinvertebrate prey resources that support stream fish and amphibians. 


Jane Dolliver

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Research Specialties: Wildlife Science, Conservation Biology, Seabirds, Forage Fish

Research Interests: As an MS student part of the Rob Suryan's Seabird Oceanography Lab, I monitor Oregon's largest colony of common murres (a penguin-like marine bird) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, in Newport, OR. In addition to ongoing monitoring of top-down (eagle disturbance) and bottom-up (prey availability) effects on this breeding colony, we're interested in collecting data on colony attendance, reproductive timing and murre chick feeding rates.


Nicholas Hahlbeck

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Research Specialties: Fish, Ecology, Temperature, Movement, Life history

Research Interests: I am studying various aspects of redband trout life history in the Upper Klamath Basin, OR to understand how these fish have behaviorally adapted to adverse mean conditions across space and time. As the Klamath system looks similar to other systems' futures under climate change, my research aims to determine how warming waters might fit into the life history and ecology of coldwater fish like trout.


Alex Jensen

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Research Specialties: Fisheries science, stock identification, stock assessment, fishery management, and policy

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student working with Jim Peterson and Carl Schreck, and I’m primarily interested in conducting fisheries research that informs management.  My Ph.D. work focuses on developing new stock assessment tools and evaluating management frameworks for the fall-run Chinook salmon fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River. 


Jennifer Hayduk

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Research Specialties: Seagrass community ecology, multi-scale ecology, Pacific Northwest eelgrass food webs, bottom-up and top-down ecological effects

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student in Dr. Fiona Tomas Nash’s lab, an am interested in characterizing patterns of eelgrass community structure in Pacific Northwest estuaries across local to regional scales. Currently, I am working on an Oregon Sea Grant-funded project that examines the implications of eutrophication in seagrass systems within and across estuaries in Oregon. This research focuses on the implications of two key processes – herbivory by small epifaunal invertebrates and nutrient enrichment – on the distribution of eelgrass and the relationships among eelgrass and its competitors – macroalgae and epiphytic microalgae.


Lauren Zatkos

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Research Specialties: Fisheries Science, Freshwater ecosystems, Stream ecology, Freshwater Fishes, Amphibians, Food webs, Aquatic Invertebrates.

Research Interests: I am a Master’s student working in Ivan Arismendi’s lab and am interested in freshwater fishes, stream ecology, and climate change. My thesis research will focus on the diets and interactions of coastal cutthroat trout and the Pacific giant salamander. As the top aquatic predators in most headwater streams in the Pacific Northwest, these species play a substantial role in regulating the food web in their ecosystems. Specifically, this project will address the range differences of the coastal cutthroat trout and the Pacific giant salamander, as well as intraguild competition and habitat use. 

Dawn Barlow

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Research Specialties: Wildlife science, marine mammals, ecology, conservation  

Research Interests: I am an M.Sc. student in the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Lab, supervised by Dr. Leigh Torres ( I am interested in the ecology and conservation of marine mammals, specifically how anthropogenic activity impacts marine mammals and the ecosystems they are part of. My research focuses on ecology, population dynamics, and habitat modeling of blue whales in a highly industrial area of New Zealand.