Lab Member Fall 2004 – Spring 2006
Currently a PhD student at the University of Michigan
David was an undergraduate senior majoring in conservation biology with a minor in political science. Through his experiences within the Gerber Lab, he developed his own independent research project as a student of the Barrett Honors College and a Fellow in the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program (SOLUR). He became fascinated with the interactions of behavior as it relates to conservation, and the possibility of using behavior as a means to conserve native populations. In addition to this, he believes that policy is becoming increasingly important for the advancement of science, and has an interest in the political aspect behind many scientific decisions. By participating in conducting field research on sea lion behavior on the islands of Granito and San Jorge in the Gulf of California (GoC), Mexico, during the summers of 2005 and 2006, he gained further insight into the behavior of marine mammals and created the basis for his research. He developed a non-invasive technique of measuring condition and growth rates in California sea lion pups, important because the effects of human disturbance on animal behavior have become an increasingly large issue in conservation. He examined the extent to which animal behavior reflects body condition and growth rates for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).