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Advisor: Anita Morzillo
Lindsay’s background is in wildlife ecology and her research interests are in areas of human dimensions of wildlife conservation. Particularly, she is interested in the conservation of herptofauna species and commonly vilified creatures, such as rattlesnakes. She seeks a greater understanding of how humans perceive and interact with these species and how we can apply this knowledge toward creating more effective conservation strategies. Additionally, Lindsay is very interested in environmental outreach and narrowing the gap between research scientists/wildlife managers and the general public.
Lindsay is currently researching landowner attitudes and perceptions toward timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) near private residences in Connecticut. Timber rattlesnakes are listed as endangered in the state, yet intentional human killings still contribute to population declines. It is important to better understand human attitudes and behaviors toward timber rattlesnakes, as well as contributing factors. A major part of this research involves a comprehensive mailed survey on attitudes toward rattlesnakes. She will also be testing the effectiveness of a mailed informational outreach campaign in promoting positive human behaviors in timber rattlesnake encounters. She anticipate that the knowledge we gain about the human neighbors to one of Connecticut’s rattlesnake populations will guide wildlife managers in creating more effective management and outreach strategies that factor in human concerns and perceptions. The project is funded from a USDA grant and Lindsay is being guided by her advisor, Anita Morzillo.