Since invading western North America in the early 1900's, Yersinia pestis (the bacterium causing plague), has decimated populations of numerous mammals, including prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). The continued expansion of Y. pestis, and the high susceptibility of ferrets and prairie dogs to plague impede recovery efforts for the ferret. Along with Michael Antolin and Dean Biggins, and collaborators, I will investigate the ecology of Y. pestis and fleas (i.e., plague vectors) parasitizing prairie dogs and associated species, and additional questions relating to impacts of plague on the grassland wildlife of North America. I am generally interested in the ecology of mustelids, rodents, fleas and plague; impacts of plague on wildlife and ecosystems; flea-host associations; conservation of prairie dogs and associated species; and integrative behavioral ecology (the interface between animal behavior and conservation). I received a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and a MS in Wildlife Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia.