Our lab is composed of people with diverse interests, perspectives, and experiences. We come from Maryland [the good ones do], California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Nova Scotia.  We are a close knit group all up in each other’s business, and our diverse interests fosters a highly collaborative and productive environment.

Dr. John C. Maerz
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
and Professor of Vertebrate Ecology

John Maerz is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources . He is affiliated with the Center for Integrative Conservation Research Integrative Conservation Ph.D. Program (ICON). He joined the UGA faculty in 2005. He is a principal investigator and member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Coweeta LTER, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management, and a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialists Group.  He teaches undergraduate courses in Animal Behavior, Herpetology, Natural Sciences Research, Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (in New Zealand and Australia), and a doctoral course in Developing University Teaching Skills.


Read more about Dr. Maerz...

Vanessa Kinney Terrell
Research Coordinator II

Vanessa Terrell is the joint Research Coordinator for the Maerz and Castleberry Labs within the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.  Vanessa is a graduate of UGA and worked in the lab for 1 year on projects including our work on invasive plant impacts on amphibians, the status of the southern dusky salamander, and the effects of residential development on stream salamander communities. She received her masters degree from Indiana State University where she studyied crawfish frog ecology and management with Dr. Michael Lannoo.  In addition to coordinating most lab research, Vanessa supervises our gopher frog ecology and introduction project.

Dr. Brian Crawford
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Brian Crawford is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist with the Georgia Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Unit (USGS).  He should not be confused with the Brian Crawford who did his masters in our lab, or the other Brian Crawford  who did his Ph.D. in our lab... even though they are the same person. Dr. Crawford is leading our collaborative project to conduct a joint status assessment and develop an integrative conservation decision making model for five "at-risk" species associated with the Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass Ecosystem.  The five focal taxa are: the Gopher Tortoise, Gopher Frog, Striped Newt, Southern Hognose Snake, and the Florida Pine Snake. 

Click here to visit Dr. Crawford's website.

Danielle Bradke
Ph.D. Student

Danielle is a new Ph.D. student in wildlife ecology and management. She received her B.Sc. in Natural Resources Management and M.Sc. in Biology from Grand Valley State University where she studied massasauga population ecology. Danielle is interested in quantitative population ecology and demography from local to range-wide scales. She will be developing a project in this area that can be applied to range-wide management decisions for a species of conservation concern. We are happy to have Danielle join our group.

Angela Burrow
Ph.D. Candidate

Angela is a Ph.D. candidate in wildlife ecology.  She is the recipient of a University of Georgia Gradaute School Fellowship and an NSF GRFP.  Angela is interested in restoration ecology and conservation, and is exploring how wetland  and upland plant management can contribute to amphibian conservation. Angela is also an accomplished teacher and mentor. She will complete  UGA's Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching, and she has been recognized with numerous teaching awards. In 2018-2019 she mentored a local high school student through an independent project using 3D printed frogs to test dehydration rates of amphibians under different habitat management regimes. That student went on to be selected for a pre-college scholarship to present their work at an international symposium. For all her accomplishments and service to UGA, Angela was selected as a 2018-2019 Future Faculty Fellow, and in 2019 she received a national PEO Scholar Award recognizing exceptional women in science.

Cyndi Carter
Ph.D. Student

Cyndi is a Ph.D. student studying the evolutionary ecology of salamanders in relation to climate. Specifically  she is exploring relationships among behavioral, morphological, and physiological phenotypes within a hybrid zone between two species, and how evolutionary dynamics between the two species are linked to climate. This work adds an exciting evolutionary component to our long-term work on climate effect on salamander population dynamics.


Cyndi received her B.Sc. in Ecology from UGA in 2013 and her masters from Eastern Illinois University in 2015. Cyndi's undergraduate research examined long-term changes in snake communities in the southwestern U.S. and she dabbled in some road ecology of Gila monsters. Her masters research used stable isotopes to study prey use ontogeny and overlap among an assemblage of aquatic snake species.

Mary Lou Hoffacker
PMNR Student

Mary Lou is a new M.N.R. graduate student and Georgia native. She received her B.S. in Ecology and Biodiversity from Sewanee: The University of the South where she studied the effects of climate change on Appalachian stream salamanders with lab alum Dr. Kristen Cecala. Mary Lou has worked in the non-profit, state, volunteer, and federal environmental industries and currently works full time as an Environmental Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. She is looking forward to discussing today's environmental issues and learning about new ways to incorporate today's ecological research and climate change information directly into her work.

Craig Marshall
Ph.D. Student

Craig is a Ph.D. student who is jointly advised by Dr. John Maerz and Dr. James Martin. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2011 with B.S. in Animal Ecology and from Mississippi State University in 2016 with a M.S. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Aquaculture. He is interested in landscape and urban ecology and is studying gopher tortoise ecology within pine production forests.

Corrie Navis
Ph.D. student

Corrie is a PhD student in the Integrative Conservation (ICON) Ph.D. program through the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. She received her M.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology from Eastern Michigan University, and has conducted research on a wide range of taxa, from birds to rodents to herpetofauna. Her research interests include urban ecology, animal behavior, and physiological responses to environmental stressors. She is also known to get very excited about outreach and science communication. For her dissertation research, Corrie is studying the demography of striped newts and developing strategies for augmentation and restoration of populations.

David Zailo
M.Sc. student

David is a masters student in the conservation ecology and sustainable development program in the Odum School of Ecology. David's masters work focuses on developing and testing novel technologies to improve wildlife ecology and management. Specifically, he is testing the ability to use GPS tags to track the enigmatic habits of Diamondback terrapins in salt marshes, and the efficacy of using drones to count and monitor terrapin populations along the Georgia coast.

See the many amazing people that have journeyed through our lab over the years.

Someone should read them.

So you think you want to go to grad school?

© 2019 by John Maerz.

Note: This is a personal website and is not affiliated with or hosted by the University of Georgia.  The content on this site represents the personal perspective of the owner, and does not reflect the views of the University of Georgia.  The University of Georgia does not endorse the website nor is it responsbile for any content on this website.