Ph.D. Students

  Justyn Foth

Ph.D. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture under the direction of Dr. Francisco Vilella. His doctoral research will focus on waterbird (shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl) use of aquaculture ponds in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Gulf Coast regions. He will be collecting information on invertebrate food resources to estimate potentially available foods to fall migrating birds. He also plans on collecting material from shorebirds, invertebrates, and the environment to estimate stable isotope signatures and relative use of shorebirds in these two regions and identify any possible oil signatures incorporated into migrating bird tissues from the April 2010 deepwater horizon oil spill. He began his graduate work at MSU in autumn 2008, and recently completed his M.S. in spring of 2011 under Dr. Rick Kaminski. His M.S. research focused on aquatic invertebrate biomass and community composition in greentree reservoirs and naturally flooded forests in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Interior Flatwoods. Justyn graduated in 2007 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. His interests include wetlands ecology, waterbird ecology and management, and landscape restoration. Justyn spends his free time hunting, fishing, bird watching, playing with his dog, and exploring the culture and natural resources of the southeast.


  Amy B. Spencer

Ph.D. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture since 2008 studying under the direction of Dr. Rick Kaminski. Her dissertation research concerns ancillary ecosystem services provided by moist-soil wetlands managed for waterfowl in the MAV. Specifically, she will model the detritus-based food web in moist-soil wetlands during late winter through early summer and relate wetland ecosystem functions to the potential for crawfish harvest as an additional landowner benefit. Amy earned a B.S. in Zoology in 2000 from The Ohio State University. She worked as a fisheries technician in Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Carolina before matriculating at Mississippi State University in 2003. She received her M.S. in Fisheries Science and Management from Mississippi State University in 2007. Amy’ s interests include wetlands ecology, aquatic ecosystem management, large river ecology, population modeling, and applied ecological statistics. Her career goal is to be an applied aquatic ecosystems ecologist and conservationist in southeastern United States. Amy enjoys wade-fishing, camping, wildlife watching, and crafting with natural materials, and she is learning to hunt.


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