Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION

University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI  2010-present

  • PhD. Candidate in Zoology, mixed minor
  • Completed Qualifying Exam in April 2011

University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 2005-2010

  • B.S in Biology with honors, minor in Chemistry
  • Part-time, working full time first 1.5 years
  • Full-time, working ~15-20 hours per week from spring 2007 to present

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 2004-2005

  • Part-time continuing education student, working full time

College of Lake County, Grayslake, ILFall 1998

  • Full time student, working 30-40 hours per week

RESEARCH 

The Ives Lab, University of Wisconsin Madison, September 2010

Working towards a PhD in Zoology studying the evolution of stealing behavior in a subfamily of spiders, Argyrodes, using mathematical and empirical methods.  This research will be funded for three years with an NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship and any time remaining with a Teaching Assistantship at UW Madison.

URA Dr. Jan Rychtar. UNCG dept of Mathematics and Statistics. May-Dec 2009

Independently created a game theoretical model and agent-based simulation of the interaction between host spider Nephila clavipes and kleptoparasite spider Argyrodes.   Developed skills in modeling and MATLAB.

OTS REU, La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. June-Aug 2009

From writing a proposal to grueling field work to analyzing and presenting our findings, our cohort built research projects in a tropical wet forest.  My project involved microhabitat preference and abundance in an understory insectivorous bird that has increased while other guild members are in decline.

UBM Research Fellow. Dr. Jan Rychtar and Dr. Mary Crowe. UNCG. December 2006-December 2008

Designed and conducted field-based experiments on the behavior and life history of a kleptoparasitic dung beetle under the guidance of experienced mentor then used this field and research data to build a deterministic game theoretical model of the behavior.

Dr. Kalcounis-Ruepell, UNCG dept of Biology. Fall 2006

Complied known data of life history and basal metabolic rates for a number of species of bats, to be used in a paper determining the relationship between the two, as well as insect malaise and pitfall trap insect identification.

TEACHING 

Zoology/Wildlife Ecology 335, Human-Animal Relationships; a Biological and Philosophical Perspective, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, Spring Semester 2012

HA relationships is a twice per week lecture course, with one optional discussion section per week.  The students take three short answer exams, and write two papers on the same topic, first from a biological perspective then from a philosophical perspective. As the teaching assistant for this course, I was responsible for a number of tasks, all of which were quite different than my previous experience with Comparative Anatomy.  I was solely responsible for the discussion section, which I was able to keep at a steady attendance of 15 students, primarily by making the topics as interesting and relevant as possible throughout the semester.  I held study groups before each exam, which were generally attended by 80-90 students.  I gave one lecture (as a fill in for Dr. McConnell) to the full class (150 students).  Finally, I shared grading responsibilities with the Professor for the exams and papers.  I feel quite fortunate to have been the TA for this course as Dr. McConnell is a truly gifted educator and I feel I learned much about teaching philosophy and practices by working under her supervision.

Zoology 430, Comparative Anatomy, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, Fall Semester 2011

Comparative Anatomy laboratory is a dissection heavy laboratory course focused on teaching students skills for vertebrate taxonomy, identification, and dissection of all major vertebrate anatomical units.  As a graduate teaching assistant for this course, I was responsible for 2 labs sections meeting 2 times per week each.  Each section also has 3 undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) who help with the course.  My responsibilities in the course were to mentor these UTAs and teach them how to instruct other students, give short lectures and guided dissections, writing and grading practical, written, verbal, and dissection exams, and insuring that the students cover the vast amount of material required of them in the course as efficiently as possible.

NCQUEST, Smith High School, Greensboro, NC April-June 2009

Joined other University of North Carolina Greensboro students in a new program, designed to tutor students with very low test scores improve and pass the end-of-course exams.

Fraser Preschool, Minneapolis, MN I999-2001

Teaching Assistant, Lead Extended Day Teacher: Developed course structure and curriculum for evening program with the aim of providing a nurturing environment for young children to grow and learn.

Fraser Preschool, Minneapolis, MN I999-2001

Red Cross Certified CPR and First AidInstructor: Taught co-workers and community members CPR and first aid as well as other topics such as, “Dealingwith ADD/ADHD” and “Creative alternatives to discipline, prevention and distraction”

AWARDS

Elected House Representative (President) of Summit Ave Housing Cooperative

Elected Vice President of GSIS, Zoology Graduate Student Organization

Distinguished graduate student presentation: 1st place, UNCG-RUMC Fall 2010

Harter Award Finalist, May 2010

Student Excellence Award (highest award given to UNCG upperclassmen), May 2009

Harter Award in Physical Sciences, 3rd Place, May 2009

Elected Co-President of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, May 2009

Undergraduate Research Assistantship, summer-fall 2009

Goldwater Scholarship Nomination, December 2008

Patterson Prize for paper presentation MAA annual meeting, March 2008

GRANTS

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP) , Spring 2010

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Publications

  • M. Broom, M. Crowe, M. Fitzgerald*, J. Rychtar. 2010. The stochastic modeling of kleptoparasitism using a Markov process. Journal of Theoretical Biology 264(2) 266-272 (link to pdf: MarkovProcess2010 )
  • M. Crowe, M. Fitzgerald*, D. Remington, G. Ruxton, J. Rychtar J. 2009. Game theoretic model of brood parasitism in a dung beetle Onthophagus taurus. Evolutionary Ecology 23(5) 765-776 (link to pdf: OtaurusEvoEco2009)
  • M. Crowe, M. Fitzgerald*, D. Remington, J. Rychtar. 2009. On Deterministic and Stochastic models of Kleptoparasitism. Journal of Interdisciplinary Mathematics 12(2) 161-180 (link to pdf: InterdisMath2009)

International Presentations

“The effects of ecology on a web stealing spider” Oral Presentation. Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution.  University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. August 2011

“The better to eat you with (or eat with you): The evolution of stealing vs. arachnophagy in Argyrodes spiders.” Poster Presentation. 13th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology. University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

“Where should we go? An investigation of microhabitat selection and abundance.” Oral Presentation. OTS REU Research Symposium. La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. August 2009

”Using empirical data to test the theoretical predictions of brood parasitism by Onthophagus taurus” Oral Presentation, ABS Annual meeting. Snowbird, Utah. August 2008

“Kleptoparasitism: Time is of the Essence for Onthophagus taurus” Oral Presentation. AISC. Greensboro, NC. October 2007

“Kleptoparasitism: When Resources Grow Scarce a Beetle Awaits” Poster presentation, MMEE. Sussex, UK. September 2007

National Presentations

“To steal or not to steal: modeling kleptoparasitic behavior in the dung beetle Onthophagus Taurus.” Oral Presentation. NSF/UBM PI meeting. Columbus, OH  June 2008

“To Steal or Not to Steal: A game theoretical model of brood parasitism in the dung Beetle Onthophagus taurus” Oral presentation. MAA Annual Meeting. Charleston, SC  March 2008  *Received Paterson Prize for Undergraduate Oral Presentation

”To Steal or Not to Steal: A Game Theoretical Model of brood parasitism in the dung Beetle Onthophagus taurus” Poster presentation. MAA Annual Meeting. Charleston,  SC  March 2008

Regional Presentations

“Cost-benefit analysis of stealing insects (i.e. a how-to make a comparison model of incomparable behaviors).” Oral Presentation. The 6th Annual UNCG RUMC. Greensboro, NC  November 2010. *Received distinguished graduate student presentation: 1st place

“Stealing spiders and clever hosts: a model of kleptoparasitism in an arachnid system.”  Oral Presentation. The Fifth Annual UNCG RUMC. Greensboro, NC  November 2009

“When is a spider also a hawk? A game theoretical model” Oral Presentation, 3rd annual OUR expo. Greensboro, NC  April 2009. *received Harter Award: 3rd place

“An Overview of Kleptoparasite Behavior” Paper presentation of Honors Thesis, UNCG Honors Symposium. Greensboro, NC  February 2009.

“ Modeling Stealing Behavior in a North Carolina Dung Beetle” Oral Presentation. 4th annual UNCG RUMC. Greensboro, NC November 2008

“When Does Stealing Cost Too Much? A Model of Kleptoparasitic Behavior” Oral Presentation. SNCURCS. Boone, NC November 2008

“Strategies of a Kleptoparasitic Dung Beetle: Modeling Behavior with Game Theory.” Oral Presentation. TIMBER. Boone, NC  November 2008

“Dung Beetles Close to Home.” Class taught at Slip Sliding Away Ecology Camp endowed by a Burroughs-Welcome Grant. Hillsborough, NC  June 2008

“Pirate Behavior! Two Models of Kleptoparasitic Organisms.” Poster presentation. 2nd Annual OUR Expo. Greensboro, NC  April 2008

“Dung Beetle Pirates, A Model of Kleptoparasitic Behavior” Oral Presentation. 3rd Annual UNCG RUMC. Greensboro, NC  November 2007

“Dung Beetle Pirates, A Model of Kleptoparasitic Behavior” Poster presentation. SNCURCS. Greensboro, NC  November 2007

“Kleptoparasitism: When Resources Grow Scarce a Pirate Awaits” Poster presentation.  1st Annual OUR Expo. Greensboro, NC  April 2007

RECENT WORK HISTORY

Recreational Equipment Incorporated     Nov 2007-May 2011

  • Customer Service, Shipping, Camping Sales

VOLUNTEERISM/OUTREACH

Fall 2011, Wisconsin Science Festival, Madison WI

  • Teaching evolution booth

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Animal Behaviour Society
  • European Society of Evolutionary Biology
  • Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society
  • UNCG Honors Ambassadors
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