Graduate Student & PostDoc Mentors

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  • Please contact prospective mentors directly to learn more about specific opportunities.
  • 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. 

Hillary Thalmann

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Research Specialties: Marine fisheries ecology, trophic ecology, stable isotope chemistry, marine heatwaves

Research Interests: I am a Ph.D. student at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR. My research is focused on the effects of marine heatwaves on Pacific Cod foraging, growth, and metabolism in the Gulf of Alaska. 

Looking for: 1-2 mentees (located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR)

Position Description: I am seeking a motivated and detail-oriented undergraduate student to assist with data processing for a Pacific Cod prey analysis study at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, beginning in January 2023. The successful applicant for this position will assist with marine invertebrate identification and stable isotope analysis to help create a stable isotope library for common prey of Pacific Cod. This position will be primarily based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, with potential for some data processing at the Stable Isotope Lab on the main Corvallis campus. I can fund 1 or 2 students at $13.50 an hour, for 5-10 hours per week during winter and spring 2023. You can apply for this position directly at OSU's job posting list here: Applications are due by Dec. 9th 2022.












Prospective Mentors — Non-research

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

There are unfortunately no non-research graduate mentors currently seeking mentees. Please visit this page regularly throughout the term & school year to check for new opportunities. Thank you!






These mentors are currently mentoring undergraduates and are not actively seeking new mentees. If your research interests most align with those of the mentors below, you must contact them directly to inquire about possible future research opportunities. Online applications will not be forwarded to these mentors.


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:

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. 

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.

Brittany Schwartzkopf

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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. 

Leila Giovannoni

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Research Specialties: Wetlands, Ecology, Mangroves, Blue Carbon, Climate Change

Research Interests: I study carbon cycling in Blue Carbon ecosystems, which are highly productive tidal wetlands that sequester and store large volumes of carbon. My field work takes place in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and the Pacific Northwest, where we are working to quantify carbon stocks in mangroves, tidal marshes, Sitka spruce swamps, and seagrass beds. Specifically, I am interested in modeling how potential ecosystems drivers such as salinity, precipitation, and plant community structure impact carbon storage.

hannah Barrett

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Research Specialties: Freshwater ecology, cold water fishes, thermal heterogeneity, thermal refuge, salmonids

Research Interests: I am interested in how cold water fish use habitat heterogeneity to survive stressfully warm water temperatures. My work is located on the Willamette River where I study how coastal cutthroat trout use cold water refuges to avoid thermal stress during summer. We conduct visual surveys, setup stereoscopic video camera rigs, snorkel, measure habitat conditions, collect eDNA, and sample fish using electrofishing or angling.

Alvaro Cortes

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Research Specialties: Ichthyology, systematics of fishes, phylogenetics, morphometrics

Research Interests: My research utilizes molecular and morphometric methods to better understand and resolve the species boundaries of freshwater sculpin fishes (genus Cottus) in the Pacific Northwest. Most of my research takes place at the Oregon State University Ichthyology Collection, but I also collect tissue samples in the field throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northwest California. 


Jillian Cosgrove

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Research Specialties: Shorebirds, Conservation, Breeding ecology, Arctic ecosystems

Research Interests: My research focuses on the ecology of long-distance migratory shorebirds that breed in the arctic. My specific research goals are to apply knowledge of shorebird breeding ecology to improve survey methods such that true changes in population size can be detected.


Christina Murphy

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Research Specialties: Freshwater Fish, Ecology, Limnology, Food Webs, Disturbance

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.

Virginia Morandini

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Research Specialties: Seabirds, Ecology, Polar Biology, Populations Modeling

Research Interests: My research focuses on population dynamics of Adelie penguins. I work on Ross Sea Island, Antarctica analyzing population demography and colonies responses to climate change.

Joel Ruprecht

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Research Specialties: Predator-prey relationships, carnivore monitoring, wildlife conservation, statistical techniques in ecology

Research Interests: I'm interested in terrestrial wildlife ecology, with an emphasis on monitoring carnivore populations and predator-prey relationships.


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Research Specialties: Carnivores, Camera-trapping, Conservation biology, Genotyping, Predator-prey interactions

Research Interests: I am a PhD student in Taal Levi’s lab where I’m mainly researching carnivore ecology using noninvasive techniques such as cameras and molecular methods.

hillary thalmann

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Research Specialties: Marine fisheries ecology, thermal variability, trophic ecology, stable
isotope chemistry

Research Interests: My research interests are broadly focused on the effects of climate stressors on marine fisheries, with emphasis on the early life history stages of these fishes. For my master’s research, I will quantify the effects of thermal variability on growth and foraging of juvenile Pacific Cod in Gulf of Alaska nursery habitats. I received dual bachelor’s degrees in Biology and English at Western Washington University and have previously worked on projects related to climate impacts to nearshore fisheries at Shannon Point Marine Center, Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

tyler dungannon

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Research Specialties: Sage-grouse, Habitat selection, Thermal ecology

Research Interests: I am investigating greater sage-grouse brood habitat selection and survival. Specifically, I am investigating thermal environments of GPS-collared brood-hens as well as variation in their use of conifer and consequential chick survival.


Claire Rosemond

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Research Specialties: Fisheries, Fish Biology, Climate Change

Research Interests: I am a PhD student in Dr. Scott Heppell's lab in Fisheries Science. My research investigates how climate change and oceanographic conditions influence the reproductive biology of Black Rockfish on the Oregon coast. 

jill tengeres

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Research Specialties: Seabirds, foraging ecology, breeding ecology, passive monitoring

Research Interests: My Master’s project is examining the foraging ecology of Aleutian terns, as well as quantifying nest survival and colony persistence in relation to predation pressure, habitat selection, etc. The field work for my project takes place in the Kodiak Archipelago, Alaska, where I work in collaboration with Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Due to the elusive nature and small population size of Aleutian terns in Kodiak, I implement multiple passive monitoring technologies, including trail cameras and acoustic recorders. Personally, I am interested in using passive monitoring techniques to study rare and difficult to work with seabird species.

Alexandra Avila

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Research Specialties: Fisheries and population genetics

Research Interests: I am a PhD candidate in Dr. Scott Heppell’s Lab. My research will examine the effects of oceanographic processes, particularly nearshore currents and upwelling patterns, on the dispersal of larval/juvenile China rockfish, and the connectivity of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the Oregon and Washington Coast, including Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. For this I have collected fin clips from China rockfish all over Oregon and Washington coast and will now be working mostly in the lab to determine genetic population structure (i.e. genetic connectivity) China rockfish.

Jeremy Jennings

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Research Specialties: Aquatic ecology, entomology, geomorphology, stream restoration

Research Interests: MMy research project is examining the aquatic food web response to a novel stream restoration method known as Stage 0 Restoration. I am sampling the aquatic macroinvertebrate communities, fish, and fish stomach contents in both the restored and unrestored reaches of the South Fork McKenzie River, OR in order to construct quantitative food webs and observe relative changes in the trophic base of fish production.


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Research Specialties: Mammals, carnivores, camera traps, wildlife conservation, occupancy modeling

Research Interests: I am a PhD student in wildlife science in Damon Lesmeister and Taal Levi’s lab. I’m interested in terrestrial wildlife ecology and conservation. I study how species coexist and use different environments in the Oregon Cascades. I also study how diverse different forests are using molecular techniques. My research has implications for how forests are managed in the Pacific Northwest.



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Research Specialties: Marine mammals, Foraging ecology, Spatial-temporal analysis, predator-prey dynamics, individual specialization

Research Interests: My Master's research concerns the fine-scale spatial foraging ecology of Pacific Coast Feeding Group (PCFG) gray whales along the Oregon coast, specifically in Port Orford along the south coast.



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Research Specialties: Freshwater ecology, stream-riparian food webs, macroinvertebrates, stream fishes, stream amphibians

Research Interests: I'm interested in the linkages between streams and riparian forests, and how stream ecosystems respond when riparian forest conditions change.



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Research Specialties: Songbird identification, Mobbing behavior, Northern Pygmy-owls, Field work

Research Interests: My research focuses on seasonal mobbing patterns of songbirds in response to Northern Pygmy-Owl calls.



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Research Specialties: Predator Interactions, Birds of Prey, Population Demography

Research Interests: My research aims to make use of the numerous specimens collected with this project to better understand the ecology of barred owls within their newly expanded range across the Pacific Northwest. Our main areas of focus are the diet and nutritional condition of the collected owls.


bryn webber

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Research Specialties: Ornithology, nest ecology, endangered species recovery, invasive species, Hawaiian conservation, and wetland ecology

Research Interests: I am a second year Master's student in Dr. Bruce Dugger's lab studying an endangered waterbird, the Hawaiian gallinule. More specifically, I am interested in the influence of habitat type on nest and brood success at Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Kaua'i.