Herpetologist Mentee Highlight

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Herpetologist Mentee Highlight

I’m holding a water snake who was not very happy with me at the time!

Name: Andrea Fondren

Age: 21

Where do you go to school? What is your position (undergrad, grad student, etc)?

Iowa State University, undergrad

What are your interests (research, career, or hobbies)?

In terms of research I’m interested in community ecology and predator-prey interactions. Though I’ve become excited about coloration and non-vocal communication, it’s just interesting to think about the different ways in which species communicate via coloration and patterns! In terms of hobbies I like camping and hiking along with cross-stitching!

Are you working on any research projects, and if not, would you like to?

Currently, I’m finishing up my last semester as an undergrad, so I’m trying to write and submit for publication any work that I’ve done in the last couple of years! I’m working with my field mentors from this past summer, Dr. Putman and Dr. Swierk, to submit a manuscript on water anoles. It’s been a lot of fun but was and continues to be a learning process!

Was there any particular hardship that you had to overcome in academics or in research?

One of the obstacles that I’ve had to overcome is the lack of representation within my field and academics. I think that sometimes it’s difficult to be in a classroom and not see people who look like you, which can be isolating. Though I’ve been fortunate enough to have a great support system and a lab group who have always supported me in my endeavors.

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