Under the Advisement of the GSTC Research Coordinator:
M.S. Student, UGA
David Zailo is a graduate student in the Andrews lab at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology. He is pursuing a M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development with a research focus on the movement and habitat use of diamondback terrapins around the Jekyll Island Causeway. These data are needed in order to inform potential management and mitigation tools for terrapins getting hit on the Causeway while attempting to nest on the road shoulders.
David grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended Albion College. He graduated in May 2010 with a degree in Biology and came to Jekyll to serve for one year as an AmeriCorps Husbandry Member through the Jekyll Island Authority’s Georgia Sea Turtle Center. During that time, he learned a wealth of information about sea turtles, terrapins, and many other species of reptiles and amphibians. Upon completion of his AmeriCorps service, David returned to Michigan and worked for an environmental consulting firm performing husbandry, inventory, and monitoring work of reptiles and amphibians. David returned to Jekyll in 2012 to join the Research Team as a Conservation Research AmeriCorps Member. During that time, he gained experience performing field-based research with a variety of herpetofauna including sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rattlesnakes. Ultimately, David plans to find employment in academia, a conservation organization, or the government sector where he can combine research goals with public education and outreach.
M.S. Student, UGA
Joseph Colbert grew up in Columbia SC. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after 9/11 as an infantry assault-man and completed two combat deployments in Iraq. After his four-year enlistment he became a student at the University of South Carolina (USC) and majored in Biology with a minor in Environmental Sciences, where he graduated with honors in 2011. During his undergraduate work, he completed two-and-a-half years of amphibian and reptile research with the University of Georgia and USC. Wildlife research got in his blood and he couldn’t picture himself doing anything else. He was fortunate enough to land the great opportunity to work on Jekyll Island as a Conservation Research Member through an AmeriCorps program at the Jekyll Island Authority Georgia Sea Turtle Center. He employs radio tracking on eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). In addition, he conducts numerous surveys, trapping, and mark-recapture techniques as part of an island-wide species inventory. He hopes his efforts will make a positive contribution to conservation of wildlife in human-dominated landscapes. He is currently attending graduate school at the University of Georgia with the generous support of the Pat Tillman Foundation through a Tillman Military Scholarship, an afflilition he is extremely proud of. In addition to research he is contributing to publications and presentations that represent our research team’s hard work on Jekyll Island.
M.S. Student, UGA
Katie Mascovich received her Bachelor’s Degree in Conservation and Resource Studies in 2011 from the University of California, Berkeley. While in college she volunteered with Global Vision International and PRETOMA on sea turtle projects in Costa Rica. After graduating, Katie started working with Georgia Sea Turtle Center in March 2012. As a member of the Research Department, she served three six-month AmeriCorps terms, worked as a Research Technician, and had the privilege of working with some of the GSTC’s international collaborators on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and in St. Kitts. During her time at the center she monitored Jekyll Island and Costa Rican beaches for loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), Pacific green (C. mydas agassizii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles. Katie assisted in launching the Nest Trackers program at the GSTC in 2013 and helped manage the Nest Trackers and Ride with Patrol programs. As part of an on-going study implemented in 2012, she also helped conduct research on the habitat quality and nest management strategies on Jekyll Island. Katie’s research interests during her time at the GSTC led to the creation of her master’s thesis, which she began in January 2015 at the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology under the advisement of Dr. Andrews. Her project focuses on combining education and research on Jekyll Island’s sea turtles in order to strike a balance between the Island’s ecological, economic, and social needs.