2019 UNDERGRADUATE HONORARIA AWARDS
Robert Beers is an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma. He is currently studying to complete his bachelor’s degree as a Biology major with a minor in Psychology. Drawn to nature since he was a child, he spent countless nights camping and backpacking, including at the Philmont Scout Ranch in the Boy Scouts of America on his path to reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. Through college, his interest in nature has continued and expanded into research. Robert got his start in fieldwork at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station, trapping multiple species of small mammals and collecting specimens with Dr. Brandi Coyner. In the summer of 2018, Robert joined a field project in Yellowstone, led by Dr. Hayley Lanier and Dr. R. Scott Seville, focused on understanding the impacts of fires on mammal community assembly. His work included trapping and prepping various species of small mammals, collecting invertebrate and vegetative data, and analyzing data for changes in species richness and abundance. Robert is currently an undergraduate researcher at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, where he is working on data analysis and specimen preparation. He has identified various vole and Sorex species caught in the field at Yellowstone to help better understand the small mammal community dynamics. In 2018, Robert presented his Yellowstone research at the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists Annual Meeting where he was awarded the best undergraduate student poster award. Robert is currently weighing opportunities for attending medical school against biology-focused graduate work, and is excited to learn more about mammal research at this year’s ASM annual meeting.
Maya Juman is an undergraduate at Yale University, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, as well as a certificate in Statistics and Data Science. She conducts research in the Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology Lab with Dr. Eric Sargis. Her current project involves exploring ecogeographic variation in the large treeshrew (Scandentia: Tupaiidae) using morphometric osteological data from the hands and skulls of museum specimens. Last summer, she collected and analyzed data for this research at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History under the guidance of Dr. Neal Woodman. She will be presenting her results at the 2019 American Society of Mammalogists meeting. Maya has previously worked on Permian reptile cranial evolution with Dr. Anjan Bhullar at Yale. She also analyzed pseudoxyrophiine snake speciation with Dr. Sara Ruane at the American Museum of Natural History and coauthored a paper describing a new cryptic species on Madagascar. Following her graduation in May 2020, she intends to pursue a Master’s degree in biogeography and systematics. Alternatively, she is interested in taking a year off to work on scientific outreach and wildlife conservation, while gaining some field experience. Ultimately, she plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in evolutionary biology.