Meet our team

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Dr. Stephanie Galla

Assistant Professor in Avian Biology, Boise State University

I am interested in interdisciplinary conservation efforts for species in decline, and in particular, how genomic technologies can inform management decisions. Using DNA, our team explores whether birds (including grouse and raptors) have the adaptive capacity to be resilient in a changing world. As the PI of the Conservation Genetics Lab at Boise State University, I am excited to build an inclusive research environment where early career researchers have the structure and support they need to achieve their research goals. 

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Morgan Calahan

Research Manager, Conservation Genetics Lab, Boise State University

Having a background in both field and lab research, I am intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of conservation biology, including how molecular techniques and resulting data can aid in the understanding and management of vulnerable species. Currently, I contribute to ongoing collaborative research into the genetic diversity of Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) populations, a species considered functionally extinct in the wild, with hope to aid in successful reintroduction efforts. Outside of the lab, I have enjoyed conducting Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) surveys in the Appalachia, Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) surveys in Arizona and New Mexico, and survival studies of elk (Cervus canadensis) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Colorado. 

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Elizabeth Jessmore

HERC Research Fellow, Boise State University

I am an undergraduate senior graduating with a degree in Biology with an Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) emphasis (December 2022). As such, I have a notable passion for wildlife conservation, and ecosystem management. I have a deep-seated interest in the ecocentric-based approach to biology. All parts of the system are inextricably interconnected in a complex way; all parts of the whole must be considered, including aspects not seen. Currently, I am working as a HERC fellow (Higher Education Research Council) to perfect DNA extraction techniques to successfully extract verifiable DNA from Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse from their fecal samples in hopes of understanding overall diet and existent microbial communities within these birds. My primary research and career goal is to inform the management of threatened and endangered species.

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