Graduate Students

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SIU Emily DonovanEmily Donovan


Advisors: Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau

Research Interest:

Despite being an icon of the Galapagos, little is known about the reproduction of the giant tortoises that inhabit the islands. In fact, the first 15 years of life for all chelonians are known as ‘the lost years’ because of how little is known about their early life stages. Emily's work aims to shed light on how tortoise migration affects the reproductive success and timing of nesting in female Galapagos giant tortoises. She also hopes to use the data from the GPS trackers to identify nesting events non-invasively throughout time. She and her collaborators anticipate that this work will fill gaps in our understanding of the tortoise life cycle. Before coming to SIU, Emily worked as a research scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Winona State University and a Master of Science in Geography from the University of Alabama. Her master's thesis examined what physical habitat variables influence cichlid nest site selection in the Bladen River, Belize.