People

Do not be the kind of person who gets all A’s and flunks ordinary living.”-Walker Percy

Our lab is composed of people representing a diverse set of interests, perspectives, and experiences.  We come from Maryland [the good ones do], Delaware, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Nova Scotia.  Despite our differences, we are a close knit group, and our diverse interests foster a highly collaborative environment.

click here to view profiles of lab alumni

Dr. John C. Maerz, Associate Professor of Vertebrate Ecology

I am an associate professor of vertebrate ecology in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. I am also an adjunct associate professor in the Odum School of Ecology, and affiliated faculty with the Center for Integrative Conservation’s ICON Program, the

Vanessa Kinney Terrell, Research Coordinator

Vanessa Kinney

Vanessa is the joint Research Coordinator for the Maerz and Castleberry Labs within the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Vanessa was a student in my Animal Behavior and Herpetology courses.  Having found a love of ecology and herpetology late in her undergraduate career, Vanessa came to work as our lead research technician.  …

Heather Abernathy, M.Sc. Student

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Heather is a new masters student in the widlife program in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.  She joined the lab in July 2014.  Heather graduated from the Odum School of Ecology in 2013, and worked previously in our lab as an undergraduate and Coweeta LTER REU student.  She will continue her work on the Coweeta LTER looking at the interactions between regional variation in precipitation and land cover effects on the distributions and abundances of salamanders and migratory birds.

Will Booker, Wildlife Student

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Will came to UGA after fleeing the Atlanta penetentiary known as Georgia Tech.  He has made a poor economic life choice, and is now a wildlife major in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.  He joined the lab in July 2012.  In addition to helping out on just about everything, Will's senior thesis research focuses on intersibship variation in larval traits among leopard frogs, how that relates to tolerance of competitive environments, and whether larval experiences carry over into terrestrial survival of frogs.  …

Katie Bentley, Biology & Wildlife student

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Katie "Ruthless" Bentley is a double major in biology and wildlife.  She was on a productive path towards med school when she was led helplessly astray to pursing her obsession with widlife.  It was easy.  She likes snakes.  She calls them her babies.

Anyway, while Katie awaits her parents forgiveness for her career choice, she is actively working on independent research with the

Jenny Asper, M.Sc. Student

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Jenny is a new masters student in the widlife program in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.  She joined the lab in May 2013.  Jenny is a National Park Service employee and participant in a gradaute training cooperative with Warnell, and is working toward a career as an NPS biologist.  …

Adam Clause, Ph.D. Student

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Adam is a Presidential Fellow in the new ICON PhD Program.  Adam is interested in using conservation biology to inform management and recovery of threatened species and ecosystems with a particular interest in amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and vernal systems.  Adam joined our lab after completing his bachelors degree and working in Dr. …

Brian Crawford, Ph.D. Student

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Brian is a Ph.D. student in the new ICON PhD Program.  Brian joined the lab in 2009 as a masters student.  His masters research focused on estimating hotspots and hot moments of diamondback terrapin mortality on the Jekyll Island Causeway.  Brian's Ph.D. research is co-funded by the Jekyll Island Authority's Georgia Sea Turtle Center and builds upon his masters work by using Jekyll Island as a model for a comprehensive decision making and management plan for conservation of terrapins on barrier islands.  …

Jillian Howard, Ph.D. Student

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Jillian is a new Ph.D. student in the new ICON PhD Program and a recipient of a Graduate School Fellowship.  She joined the lab in 2013.  She completed her bachelor's degree at UC Davis where she studied the spatial and temporal patterns of the breeding activity of Pseudacris regilla in an urban environment. 

Kira McEntire, Ph.D. Student

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Kira is a new Ph.D. student in the new Ph.D. student in wildlife in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and a recipient of Graduate School Fellowship.  She joined the lab in 2013.  She completed her bachelor's degree at Southwestern University in Texas where she studied everything!  …

Dara Satterfield, Ph.D. Candidate

Dara is a Ph.D. Student in the Odum School of Ecology working with Dr. Maerz and Dr. Sonia Altizer.  Dara is interested in how human impacts on the environments affect wildife diseases through disease evolution.  Though she shares a passion for amphibians and has been exploring amphibian disease evolution, Dara's dissertation research focuses on the role of parasite evolution on monarch butterfly migrations.  …

Lab Alumni

I have been so fortunate to have had an amazing army of undergraduates, graduate students, and post docs who have done remarkable things during their time at UGA.  All have managed to remain productive members of society, and most are gainfully employed, so there is no evidence that their time in my lab caused them harm.