Alumni 2010

Meet the Speakers


Hi! My name is Isa Betancourt. I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs with a passion for nature that was stoked by annual family camping trips and my own backyard. For years I was enthralled by the extreme diversity and abundance of insects which led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Entomology at Cornell University. Along with my studies, I enjoy serving as an officer of Snodgrass and Wigglesworth, (Cornell’s undergraduate Entomology club), playing soccer, surfing, and exploring nature. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for nature with other students!
Presentation: Exoskeleton: The insects’ secret to success



Serina Brady is a junior Animal Science major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell. She enjoys learning as much as she can about animals and the world around her. She is a member of the Cornell chapter of the Wildlife Society and has a passion for birds and their behavior. Serina enjoys hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. She is looking forward to teaching and sharing her enthusiasm for science with others!
Presentation: Skulls and bones

Alyson Brokaw is a senior Biological Sciences major concentrating in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who grew up surrounded by Pennsylvanian fields and forests. She has performed field research studying the thermoregulation of tree swallows for the last two years, and has conducted field research abroad in Argentina and Tanzania. She hopes to someday pursue a doctorate degree in bat ecology and behavior.

Presentation: Bats


Victoria Di Camillo is a junior Natural Resources Major with (hopefully!) an education minor. She has always loved being outside, especially watching the birds and squirrels at her mother’s feeders. A native of the Philadelphia area, she enjoys soccer, distance running, and climbing trees in her spare time.
Presentation: Mammalian skulls



Danielle Dryer: Hi! My name is Danielle Dryer and I am currently a junior within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who is studying Neurobiology. Ever since I can remember, I have always been actively involved outdoors, whether it was hiking, backpacking, kayaking, stargazing, or even the thrill of gorge jumping. By constantly being surrounded by nature as I grew up, I found my passion in science and, in particular, with the cognition and behavioral patterns of animals. This year, I look forward to sharing my knowledge of owls, which have continually intrigued me for years.
Presentation: Owls


Michael Garvey: I am a Junior Entomology major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I have been fascinated by the diversity of insects and arthropods all my life and since a young age knew I wanted to learn everything I could about this under appreciated group. My main fascination with arthropods is their different types of social behavior, specifically focusing on the reasons why insects and spiders develop and maintain social groups. As a secondary interest I am also concerned about invasive insect pests and how best to control them in order to minimize damage and conserve our natural habitats. Currently I am working in an invertebrate pathology lab focusing on the control of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and hope to pursue a graduate degree in either insect social behavior or effective insect pest management.
Presentation: Spiders


Eric Gordon is a junior biology major concentrating in animal physiology and insect biology. From central Ohio, he nurtures a passion for the diversity of life through his coursework and by spending as much time outdoors as possible. He plans to pursue a career in scientific research. Eric is very excited to share his enthusiasm and knowledge in biology with children of all ages.
Presentation: Millipedes and Centipedes

Mackenzie Grambor: I am a senior in CALS double majoring in Plant Science and Agricultural Science Education. I’ve always been fascinated by the world around us and examining nature still gives me the greatest pleasure. I’ve done research with invasive insects and currently I work for the Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County as an agricultural marketing/local foods intern. My favorite things in life are gigantic trees, shiny insects, and the deer that so love to eat out of my compost bin. I hope to work in environmental outreach my entire life, hopefully being employed by a not-for-profit to help preserve the world I love so much!
Presentation: Reptile and amphibian biology


Tyler Helmann is a sophomore biological and plant sciences major. He enjoys spending time outdoors, eating local foods, and wandering the many gardens at Cornell. Currently, he is doing research on the evolving interactions between tomato and Pseudomonas, a pathogen that causes bacterial speck. An Ithaca native, he is excited for the opportunity to teach locally, and share his passion for science.
Presentation: Plant defenses

Johanna Katz is a junior biology major.  Her interests are quite broad and include ecology, wildlife conservation, medicine and public health. She has spent time conducting research on fish ecosystems, urban agriculture, neurobiology and fly genetics. Outside of class she enjoys competing with the Cornell synchronized skating team. Johanna is very excited to be a part of the Naturalist’s Speaker’s Bureau and to share with others her love of science.

Presentation: Crypsis and mimicry


Emily Kearney is a junior Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major with a minor in Latin American studies. She wants to pursue a career in research and work on plant-insect interactions. She also loves teaching and volunteers with REACH at Cornell to tutor at local high schools. Her favorite hobbies are yoga, rock climbing and running and she loves being outdoors even in the worst of weather.
Presentation: Butterflies

My name is Liz Kreitinger and I am a junior at Cornell University enrolled in the Science of Natural and Environmental Systems program. I have a passion for nature and the outdoors that has lead me on some fantastic adventures in environmental studies including programs at Shoals Marine Laboratory, interning at the Cornell ‘Arnot’ research forest and at the US Geological Survey Water resource center here in Ithaca this past summer. I have strong interests in conservation, sustainable development, environmental chemistry, aquatic systems and rocks! On campus, I guide backpacking trips for Cornell Outdoor Education and play on the Frisbee team.
Presentation: Adaptations for water


My name is Alex Kumar and I am a senior double majoring in Natural Resources and Biology.  I have always loved the outdoors and am especially interested in the animals that inhabit nature.  I hope to conduct research and teach in mammalogy or conservation biology.  I also enjoy nature photography and backpacking.
Presentation: Small mammals


Gavin Mackellar: I am from Canton NY, a small town in northern NY and have lived my entire life in Canton. I have always loved the outdoors and during my college years I have further developed these interests, expanding into ecology and conservation. What interests me most in ecology are forests, and forest management.   With this interest I plan on getting a masters in forestry so I can go into forest management and educate others on how to properly treat and manage a forest. My top personal interest is in maple syrup production, which I would like to apply my forestry and ecology knowledge to for my own benefit and to teach others best management practices.
Presentation: Seed dispersal


Sarah Myers is a sophomore Natural Resources and Plant Sciences student. She grew up playing and exploring in her backyard, and has since developed a passion for ecosystems science, plant interactions, conservation biology, and trail maintenance; she has put these many interests to use in her extensive work with both the Park Service and the Forest Service. She loves backpacking, caving, winter camping, and spreading this passion to others! She would love the chance to share her story and her love of the environment with other kids around Ithaca!
Presentation: Mushrooms


Mia Park: I am a graduate student in entomology interested in pollination biology and insect conservation. I currently study the importance of wild bees in pollination of apple. As a child growing up in a large city, insects were my backyard wildlife. Learning about their diversity, natural history and importance is an endless journey of discovery. I hope to share that sense of wonder and appreciation with others through outreach and teaching. Outside of school, I like to draw, watercolor and be outside.
Presentation: Pollinators


Amara Pinnock: I am a senior animal science major and education minor at Cornell. In the future, I can see myself either being a veterinarian or a teacher; I am not exactly sure yet. I have a love for music and love to sing and play the piano. I am excited about this class and about my teaching and am looking to have a great time and to learn a great deal.
Presentation: Spiders


My name is Stephanie Rhoades. I am a junior studying animal science and agricultural science education at Cornell. I grew up in Adams, NY. During my summers I enjoy working at a camp in the Adirondacks that is only an hour from my home. In the future I would like to teach agricultural courses to high school students. Those classes may include environmental science, animal science, plant science, and many more diverse subjects.
Presentation: Invasive species


Avery Russell: I am a senior in the Entomology and Plant Science majors. Currently I am working in a research lab where I am studying the morphology, physiology, and evolution of a leg sensory organ in flies.  I am also interested in the interaction of plants with insects and especially the methods by which plants can protect themselves from attack, as well as how insects can overcome these defenses. I have found evolutionary coevolution, convergence, and modification in general to be quite fascinating and it is always a pleasure to learn and discuss the processes of evolution. I will be applying to graduate school in the hopes of becoming a professor and I plan to remain active in research, as well as teach.
Presentation: Plant-insect interactions

Carolyn Sedgwick is a senior in the Natural Resources department focusing on applied ecology. She is especially enthusiastic about ornithology and conservation and has held various field jobs that have taken her from the Costa Rican rainforest to seabird restoration islands in the gulf of Maine. During the school year, Carolyn conducts independent research with chickadees at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and spends as much time as possible outside. She hopes to pursue a career that incorporates research, education, and speaking Spanish. In her free time Carolyn enjoys hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, traveling, and playing tennis.
Presentation: Bird migration


Marc Seligson is a senior Nutritional Sciences major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, pursing a minor in Global Health. While his background is mainly in public health, he has spent many years studying biology and entomology. Marc spent three months this summer in Honduras working in public health and doing research. His time in Honduras gave him a great amount of outreach and teaching experience. In the future he would like to continue doing research and eventually go to medical school.
Presentation: Mosquitoes


Tara Stonex is a junior animal science major.  She group up showing dogs in 4-H as well as being involved in many other 4-H project areas.  She loves working with children and animals and watching them teach each other. Growing up in rural Washington, she has always had a love of nature and misses all the green.    Her career goals include becoming a doctor and working in Cambodia.
Presentation: Mammalian skulls


Christine Wilkinson is a senior Natural Resources major with a focus in applied ecology.  She enjoys conducting field research on wildlife behavior, along with other outdoor activities.  Christine is on Cornell’s varsity fencing team, and plays music in Cornell’s only taiko (Japanese drumming) group, along with playing guitar and cello.  She loves to watch her bird feeder, and engages in various outdoor activities such as biking, swimming, hiking, and anything that involves being muddy.
Presentation: Bird diversity and feeding ecology