Project Title: Environmental Factors that Influence Nest Box Utilization by Black-Capped and Mountain Chickadees.
Mentors: Scott Taylor, Kathryn Grabenstein and Angela Hansen, INSTAAR/LTER Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at CU.
Bio: Vanessa resides in Longmont, Colorado and has lived in Colorado for the past 12 years. She is originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A few years ago, she began a hobby of collecting houseplants, repotting them and providing regular care. She found that she loved learning about plant species and getting her hands dirty. She took several career placement exams and all of their results yielded similar results: environmental science.
Currently, Vanessa is attending Front Range Community College and will be completing her associate’s degree in applied science with an emphasis in biology in December 2019. She has applied to CU Boulder for Fall 2019 and she is most interested in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Vanessa is working in Scott Taylor’s Lab, specifically on the Boulder Chickadee Project. This lab is researching hybridization and possible speciation between Mountain Chickadees and Black-Capped Chickadees. Vanessa will be researching what factors cause a chickadee, whether Black-Capped or Mountain, to use the placed nesting boxes. The causes could include temperature, proximity to water, height location of the nest boxes and openness or arrangements of branches surrounding the nest boxes.
View a short 90-second elevator speech.