Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Bridgett Benedict

Texas A&M University - Ph.D. Student in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences
Projected to Graduate in 2022   
Project Title: Effects of Biting Insects on North American Ungulates

I’ve spent my life surrounded by nature, wildlife, and animals, and developed interests in snorkeling, backpacking, and training horses. My education and career path mimics my passions for the natural world. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and Management from UC Davis, I spent six years working in the field of wildlife biology. I left my most recent position as a Project Biologist at an environmental consulting firm to pursue an M.S. degree and now a PhD to prepare myself for a research-centered career. I feel very fortunate to have a project that expands on my past experiences in the field and lab, as well as my experience working with large ungulates. I want my research to have a purpose in conservation and management, and to be useful for generations to come.

Effects of Biting Insects on North American Ungulates

The overall objective of my PhD research is to understand the behavioral and physiological costs of biting insects to moose. The literature suggests that moose are behaviorally tolerant to biting insects. While this may be true at a large scale, this study aims to understand if moose are behaviorally tolerant at the individual scale. We also aim to understand and describe the physiological costs (stress, injury, infection) of insects to moose, and in relation to the overall health of the individual. Understanding these costs is important for the management of moose populations in relation to habitat shifts due to fire and projected warming of the climate.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt