Juan Botero’s love for animals and the environment was sparked when he attended the Global Ecology Magnet Studies Program in high school. As an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech, he enrolled in the Wildlife Sciences program and joined the Wildlife Society.

Juan began his work with the Hopkins Lab in the summer of 2012 when he became a field technician for the Kingston Coal Ash Spillproject. Under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Beck and Dr. David Steen, he collected and compiled field data on both birds and turtles. This was Juan’s first field and lab experience, and he loved it!

Throughout his undergraduate studies, Juan continued to volunteer for many projects in the Hopkins Lab. Upon graduation in May 2014, he was hired as a full-time technician. Since then, Juan has worked on the Mercury Contamination Turtle Project and the Land Use Effects on Hellbenders Project. These experiences have enabled him to develop a broad range of laboratory and field skills.

In early 2015, Juan completed an internship at Tall Timber Research Station in Florida.  He studied the cooperative breeding behavior of Brown-Headed Nuthatches.

Juan is now an M.S. Candidate in the Cristol Lab at William & Mary.