Brian is a PhD student in the Hopkins Lab, and a 2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP).  His research interests broadly encompass the impacts human development on the viability of natural systems and wildlife populations, especially herpetofauna within freshwater environments.  For his dissertation, Brian is studying the seasonal reproductive physiology and paternity of Eastern hellbender giant salamanders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis).

Brian holds a B.A. in Biology from Bucknell University where he conducted research with Dr. Mizuki Takahashi.  As an undergraduate, he examined the presence of multiple paternity within Pennsylvania’s Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum), while contributing to studies of Eastern Newt (Notopothalumus viridescens) maternal effects, and surveys of chytrid prevalence in the Susquehanna Valley.

Brian’s background also includes two years of professional experience in environmental policy.  Following graduation from Bucknell, he served the only microbiologist in the United States Congress, Rep. Louise Slaughter from NY.  While there, he assisted with efforts to curb the misuse of antibiotics in agriculture, in addition to furthering Great Lakes conservation initiatives.



Following his time at the Capitol, Brian earned the first Conservation Fellowship awarded by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  As a member of TNC’s federal legislative team, Brian worked on water resources policy and The Conservancy’s habitat connectivity initiatives striving to enhance aquatic organism passage and community flood resilience.

During his time at Virginia Tech, he hopes to utilize his unique background to frame the applicability of his research to a broad range of audiences, and to build on the novel body of work conducted by the lab on reproductive / parental care ecology and physiology in recent years.

Email Brian

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