Cecalamander Lab

Dr. Kristen Cecala

I received my B.S. from Davidson College and my Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. I am particularly interested in describing mechanisms contributing to patterns of animal responses to environmental change. I hope that this will allow researchers to forecast and mitigate the effects of environmental change on wildlife. Environmental change affects a host of variables - some of which impact behavior and vital rates of amphibians and reptiles contributing to their shrinking population sizes and distributions. We use a combination of observational, manipulative, and modeling techniques to achieve these goals.


Kevin Fouts

Kevin joined Sewanee as the Research Coordinator of the Sewanee Headwaters Initiative. Kevin received his M.S. in Wildlife Management and Ecology from the University of Georgia and has investigated links between management practices and stream salamander communities in the Smoky Mountains. He has also worked with managers of southeastern reservoirs to reduce the incidence of wildlife disease and helped examine the effects of biofuel production on stream water quality. As someone interested in amphibians and reptiles, he shares our research interests and contributes strongly to the success of our lab.


Catherine Bratton

Catherine is a senior Biology major focusing on Ecology and Biodiversity and minoring in Italian Studies while aiming to attend vet school. Beyond academics, Catherine is an overachiever serving as the president of her sorority, tour guide, FYP mentor, orchestra flute player, and member of the equestrian team. She has also been active in the lab leading annual spotted salamander sampling and processing and conducting her own independent research project. Catherine's project follows up work done by lab alumna Jaina Gandhi c'16 to investigate the parameters that determine stream salamander responses to exposure to environmentally-relevant concentrations of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.


Elizabeth Culp

Elizabeth is a senior Biology major focusing on Ecology and Biodiversity. She is also a Theater Fellow and active in leading trips through the Sewanee Outing Program (SOP). As a native of Chattanooga, she has been able to work closely with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute to collect data for some of our collaborative work. Elizabeth is focusing on understanding how native invaders like bluegill and other sunfish impact populations of rare minnows in streams draining from the Cumberland Plateau.


Belle Morris

Belle is a junior Biology major focused in molecular biology and genetics pursuing medical school. She is working in collaboration with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute to investigate how climate change is likely to impact headwater stream communities. Specifically, she is considering the context-specific responses that salamanders may have to warmer winter temperatures.


Molly Almon

Molly is a sophomore interested in ecology and hydrology getting her feet wet in research. She has helped with annual spotted salamander sampling and processing and has fit as many field opportunities into her schedule as she can. She will be working with the Tennessee Conservation Institute to investigate how small dams bypass geomorphic filters that affect interspecific interactions in headwater streams and how that change reduces the success of threatened headwater fish species.


Lab alumni...

... and their next steps.
-Kailey Bissell c'18: School Programs Education Specialist, Mote Marine Lab
-Maggie Bliss c'16: M.S. @ Technical University of Munich
-Saunders Drukker c'17: Ph.D. Student @ Texas State University
-Jaina Gandhi c'16: Nursing Student
-Philip Gould c'16: Ph.D. Student @ The Ohio State University
-Mary Lou Hoffacker c'17: Environmental Consultant @ Booz Allen Hamilton and MNR student @ UGA
-Jeff Kirchberg c'14: GIS Technician @ Maryville Water Administration
-Amanda Liford c'16: M.S. Student @ University of Tennessee
-Lindsey Liles c'16: M.S. @ University of St. Andrews, Garden & Gun Magazine
-Ben McKenzie c'17: M.S. @ Auburn University, GIS Research Specialist, Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
-Ansley Murphy c'19: M.S. Student, City and Regional Planning
-Will Noggle c'14: Medical student @ University of Tennessee
-Ben Sadler c'17: Environmental Consultant @ AECOM
-Eli Walker c'19: Bartlett Tree Experts
-Emma Zeitler c'20: M.S. Student @ University of Florida