Greetings! I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I got started in biology right out of high school when I worked at the Albuquerque zoo with the dromedary camels. I found out I loved being outside and working with animals and so when I started at the University of New Mexico I decided to study biology. While there, I took an Ichthyology class and absolutely fell in love with the study of fish. I’ve been working with them ever since.
I received my B.S. and M.S. from the University of New Mexico. My master’s thesis was on the role of young-of-year fish in dryland river food webs. Not much is known about the specific role of larval and juvenile fishes in aquatic food webs, especially in arid rivers. I used gut contents, stable isotopes, and aquatic invertebrate communities to describe their contribution to trophic dynamics. Although I’ve moved out of the desert since then, I still have a soft spot in my heart for desert rivers. After a brief stint as a technician at Texas A&M, I am now in the third year of my PhD at Wayne State University in Detroit. My dissertation work is on the invasive round goby in the tributaries of the Great Lakes. The focus of my work is on the impact goby have on native fish communities and how to predict their invasion based on environmental variables. Beside my ‘formal’ education, I have had the opportunity to study and conduct research in various places across the globe including Costa Rica, Panama, Mongolia, and most recently, Puerto Rico. But more on that later.
When I am not wrapped up in grad school, you can find me entertaining my spoiled yellow lab, Lucy. My partner and I spend a lot of time at the dog park and the lake getting her the exercise she likes. She lets us think we are in charge sometimes, but we all know who the head of household is. Other than that, we spend a lot of our time collecting and processing wild foods from our yard or surrounding area which so far include walnuts and walnut syrup; raspberry jam, wine, and tea; sumac for za’atar and sumac-ade; dandelion wine; and various types of beer (though most of those ingredients are purchased). Biology has also translated into a great hobby for the both of us (he is in biology as well) as we integrate conservation and sustainability into our daily lives.
I look forward to contributing to BioTweeps and hope to have some great discussions. If you’re interested in keeping up with me, find me @ckrabb.