In the last decade, I have had the invaluable opportunity to collect specimens in North, Central, and South America as well as New Zealand and Australia. Observing and collecting specimens from the field increases the knowledge of those species enormously compared to relatively simple name and descriptions, and can be a primary generator for comparative questions. Why a species occurs here but not there, the observation of a strange web architecture, or perhaps the discovery of a sex where only one was previously known to science may all occur. Importantly, traveling to exotic locales is a bonus but not a prerequisite of field biology; there is still much to learn about species even in relatively well-studied regions.
My major field experiences* include:
- Florida - multiple trips to the Archbold Biological Station in Lake Wales Ridge (2010, 2014, 2016)
- Guyana - joint field expedition by Towson University and Smithsonian Institution (2012)
- Costa Rica - participated in the Organization for Tropical Studies ecology course, visiting La Selva, Monteverde, Las Cruces, Cierra de la Muerte, and more (2013)
- Southern USA - transect expedition with Jesus Ballesteros (UW Madison) in search of Leucauge venusta (2014)
- Australia & New Zealand - general spider collection in New South Wales and Queensland in Australia and the South Island and Stewart Island in New Zealand as part of a joint George Washington University, Harvard University, University of Barcelona, and UNAM team.
*These are in addition to numerous shorter trips within the USA
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand (2016); Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia (2015); Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica (2013); Archbold Biological Station, Florida (2010); Guyana (2012)