Chandler joined the Hopkins lab in the fall of 2011 and assisted multiple undergraduate and graduate students with their research projects. She gained valuable experience with data entry and management throughout her time in the lab. Chandler learned animal husbandry practices while participating in Amanda Wilson’s post-baccalaureate research on maternal effects in wood ducks, and developed a familiarity and working knowledge of the ecology of hellbenders while constructing nest boxes for Cathy Jachowski.
As a research intern for the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, Chandler worked with dolphins, sea turtles, and terrapins, recording observed behaviors in the field, photographing dorsal fins to identify individuals by unique notch patterns, searching field sites for signs of nest depredation, and responding to strandings. She routinely collaborated with local fishermen and residents to ensure the success of sea turtles and dolphins on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As a SURF student (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow), she researched the impact of human disturbance on jaguars in Belize using remote camera traps.
Chandler conducted an independent senior thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Hopkins, looking at the implications of in situ and hatchery nest temperatures on sea turtle sex ratios in Costa Rica. This was her second undergraduate research project conducted in Central America; international research has equipped her with a unique skill set and perspective to solve conservation questions and challenges. Chandler plans to pursue graduate school in the near future.