Sponsored Research Applications

Vertebrate Zoology Research Opportunity

Snake Ecology and Evolution

NOAA STEM Education and Danbury Public Schools Partnership

Graduate student research opportunities available in MS in Integrated Biological Diversity Program

The Pinou Lab and collaborators are looking for students interested in pursuing a MS to apply for the following research projects. Students must be accepted and enrolled in the Integrated Biological Diversity Program (http://wcsu.edu/biology-msbiodiversity/how-to-apply/). Student support may include university assistantships, internal scholarships, and fellowships (internal and external).  Interested students should contact the PI at pinout@wcsu.edu and include a cover letter describing your research experience and interests, as well as a CV by August 15th. 

  1. Looking for a MS student(s) to collect data on wildlife road mortality and identify locations with high road mortality.  One project is part of a larger effort to map the distribution and ecology of Diamondback Terrapins in Connecticut.  Specifically, the student will work with CT DEEP Wildlife Division, Connecticut DOT, and the Norwalk Aquarium.  A second project is based in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas, and focuses on snake road mortality. The student(s) will be expected to work with a diverse group of citizen scientists, and will be responsible for managing all spatial and temporal data. Interested students must hold a drivers license and be comfortable in hot environments.
  2. Looking for an MS student to compare the dermal denticles from several shark species that will be sampled from the waters of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. The majority of the work for this thesis will be focused at the Yale Peabody Museum Of Natural History, where the student will be using Scanning Electron Microscopy to quantify the size and shape of the dermal denticles, although assisting in the collection of samples in the Bahamas is possible.  This project is in collaboration among the Yale-Peabody Museum of Natural History, The Cape Eleuthera Institute, and WCSU.
  3. Looking for an MS student to manage a cover board study surveying Connecticut amphibians and reptiles at Great Hollow Nature Preserve and Research Center (https://greathollow.org/). 
  4. Looking for an MS student to use animal-borne cameras to examine how frequently green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, both encounter and ingest various plastic items. In this manner, we will be able to use these animals as marine sampling platforms to assess the local abundances of plastic pollution as well as provide valuable data on the selectivity of sea turtles to feed on certain types of plastic. This study will begin in the coastal waters of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, where we plan to deploy custom-built animal-borne cameras (http://www.cats.is/products/cats-cam/) on the juvenile green turtles that are abundant in the local mangrove creeks. Once we have field-tested the animal-borne cameras, we will start deploying the units on juvenile green turtles that are found in the waters of Long Island Sound, USA.
  5. Looking for an MS student to reexamine the snake genus Elaphe [Pantherophis].  The motivated student will have access to the H.G. Dowling Herpetological Collection which includes H.G. Dowling’s original field notes, experimental data, and hemipenes drawings of his study specimens.  The collection is an invaluable resource to students and scholars of Neotropical snake systematics (http://www.wcsu.edu/newsevents/Dowling-Herpetological-Collection.asp).  Support to travel to various museum collections to validate data is available.
  6. Looking for an MS student to work with NOAA, the Norwalk Aquarium, and Mystic Aquarium, and CT fisheries to study in-water sea turtles (spotters program).