M.Sc. by coursework
I graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Animal Biology. I was motivated to pursue a master’s degree due to my interest in swine, reptiles, and wildlife. Additionally, in my undergraduate degree I enrolled in the course wildlife biology, which expanded my perspective on research in wild animals and the importance of understanding thermal regulation.
I have begun my MSc in Animal Biosciences by coursework supervised by Dr. Esther Finnegan (http://animalbiosciences.uoguelph.ca/users/efinegan ). The focus of my research will be to investigate if colour changes in veiled and Meller’s chameleons can be an indication of their internal temperatures. There are 202 recognized species of chameleons in the wild but very few species are kept in captivity; the two species selected are commonly found in this setting. A thermal imaging camera will be used to capture normal and thermal images of chameleons in order to be able to compare internal temperatures and body colour. Then these images will be analyzed by software for colour contrast, brightness, and reflectance in order to investigate a correlation to thermal regulation. I was inspired to perform research in the reptile field because over the summer I worked at a zoo giving behind the scene tours, which required teaching visitors about our reptiles. However, even with multiple resources it was clear that many aspects regarding reptile husbandry are still guess work and not supported by conclusive research. Therefore, the goal of my research will be to allow for a better understanding of chameleons thermal needs through the interpretation of colour changes. This knowledge could be applied to improving husbandry and help understand and protect endangered chameleon species.
Outside of academia, I enjoy reading, playing soccer, traveling, and spending time with my family, friends, and pets.