Ph.D. Students

Justyn Foth

StudentPh.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.

Masters Students

Terrel Christie


Terrel is investigating depredation of commercial catfish by double-crested cormorants. Terrel and assistants are flying aerial night roost surveys from October-April 2016-2017 to study cormorant distribution and estimate birds’ abundances across the Delta. Terrel is collecting hundreds of cormorants from night roosts to analyze stomach contents and understand foraging ecology. Ultimately, with this information Terrel will model predation risks imposed by cormorants and devise means to ameliorate fish losses on aquaculture facilities.

Stephen Clements

StudentStephen is conducting surveys of scaup foraging on commercial bait-and sport-fish ponds in eastern Arkansas. Stephen also is collecting invertebrates and scaup to better understand foraging ecology of the birds in these commercial aquaculture facilities. Similar to Terrel’s work, Stephen will ultimately model predation risks imposed by scaup and devise means to ameliorate fish losses on aquaculture facilities.

Sharilyn Taylor

StudentSharilyn is conducting a unique study of native bee use of seasonal wetlands and associated habitats such as Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) buffers. Her study is being conducted on approximately 18 properties, including 4 National Wildlife Refuges.