Teague O'Mara, PhD
Teague is a dad and husband. He's responsible for the lab group and making sure that it is a great place to learn. Teague finished a PhD at Arizona State University where his research in Madagascar tested how female and male ring-tailed lemurs grow up to eat different things, and how sex differences in feeding can help structure life history and ecology. Since then, he has worked mostly on bats to understand how social behavior and physiology work together to buffer unpredictable environments and shape animal social groups. This work has let him explore animal movement and biodiversity around the world and build collaborations with outstanding people.
In addition to his day job as the Director of Conservation Evidence at Bat Conservation International, he is an Adjunct Professor in Biological Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University, he is also a research associate in the Department of Migration at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá.
Micaela Pineda, MS Student
Micaela is originally from Merced, California. She has worked on studies with bison in Yellowstone National Park, Northern Spotted Owls in California, and most recently quail on Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. Upon completion of her master's degree she plans to apply for doctoral programs in animal behavior. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, running, and traveling.
Micaela will be working on deciphering the spatial ecology of the greater noctule (Nyctalus lasiopterus) during their nightly foraging attempts in Doñana National Park, especially when and if they capture migrating birds.
Shawn Pladas, MS Student
Shawn is originally from a small mountain town in Northern Utah and likes to spend his time in the outdoors whitewater rafting, canyoneering, skiing, and birding. He went to the University of Utah and earned a BS in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. He has since worked with a variety of taxa and has grown especially fond of working with bats. After receiving his MS, Shawn plans to continue professionally as an ecological researcher.
Shawn will be trying to understand migration patterns in Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) and how changes in migration reflecting shifting population dynamics.
Cierra Disedare, MS Student
Cierra is from a small town local to Independence Louisiana who appreciates and is open-minded to new experiences. She is currently a senior getting her BS in Integrative Biology with a minor in Spanish, and hopes to continue her education in SELU’s Masters Biology program after graduation. She has always had a love for the outdoors and is an avid hunter. Her career interest is in conservation biology and environmental management, and she has a personal interest in creative writing and animal care.
Cierra will be working with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to understand the population dynamics of a maternity colony of a common bat species that seems to be declining in population size as a rare and endangered species begins to move in.
Travis Bayer, MS Student
Travis is originally from Minnesota, but grew up in the small town of Jamestown, ND. He enjoys the outdoors and has grown a love for wildlife photography. He received a Bachelor's of Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato with a major in Zoology. He has since been able to work with a variety of species within the Amazon Rainforest focused on spatial ecology and genetic sampling. He am specifically interested in researching wildlife movements and migrations, as well as biologging technology.
Travis will be working to generate energy landscapes for greater spear-nosed bats in Panama, particularly on the relationship between heart rate and accelerometry metrics in these large bats.
Matthew Giblin, Undergraduate Student
Matthew never likes being too comfortable, and is always pushing himself to do better in society. After graduation he plans to attend medical school and through that, specialize in cardiology.
Matthew is trying to understand more about how cyclic depressions in tent-making bats (Uroderma bilobatum) reflect other patterns of low energy states such as torpor and hibernation, and the likely controls through the sympathetic nervous system.
Christinia Lindsly, Undergraduate Student
Christinia is from Slidell, LA, where she enjoys working at a local veterinary clinic. She is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, and after graduation plans on attending veterinary school. She has always had a passion for animals, especially dogs and cats, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her German Shepherd, Marelda, baking, reading, and traveling.
Christinia is working on her Senior Honors Thesis in collaboration with Dr. Chris Murray and is studying the effects of environmental androgens on metabolic rates in juvenile American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).