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Former Graduate Students

Steven N. Winter MSc Virginia Tech, Escobar's lab

I earned my bachelor's degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Delaware in 2016. Since then, I've worked with several federal, state, and private agencies on research projects around the US and abroad, dealing with predator-prey dynamics, plague in prairie communities, and carnivore population monitoring. I'm largely interested in learning new methods for understanding disease ecology as it applies to emerging issues in mammalian communities. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, photography, archery, and serving the community as an EMT.



Former Undergraduate Student Researchers

Caitlin Storment

I transferred to Virginia Tech after receiving an associate degree in science at New River Community College and am now working towards a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation. I have worked for Claytor Lake State Park for four years and am also a medical technician at Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center. My major research interests are parasitology and virology in mammals, as well as fungal diseases in amphibians. When I’m not at school or work, I love hiking and camping with my fiancé, playing with my pet rabbit, and making all kinds of art.


Joy Flowers

I am a current student at Virginia Tech working towards two undergraduate degrees in Wildlife Conservation and Biological Sciences. I can be contacted by email at In the Escobar lab, I’m working on data analysis of wild rabies reservoir species in R. In addition to working in the lab with Dr. Escobar, I am working hard on maintaining my 4.0 and running the Wildlife Disease Association Student Chapter at Virginia Tech as acting President. I’m also apart of the Natural History Collections Club and The Wildlife Society Student Chapter at Virginia Tech. Currently, I’m working on a proposal to do work on determining predation and disease-risk of free-ranging cats in Chile, Guatemala, and Virginia. My general research interests involve disease ecology, behavioral ecology, conservation biology, parasitism, mammalian carnivores, bats, and amphibians. In my free time I enjoy taking hikes with or going to events with my dogs.

Rosalie Gude


I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in Animal and Poultry Science with a pre-vet concentration at Virginia Tech. I aspire to be a wildlife veterinarian, and because my major pertains to the veterinary aspect of the career, I focus on wildlife conservation for my extracurriculars. I am interested in all aspects of wildlife conservation, though I particularly enjoy learning about the relationship between humans and wildlife. I explore this topic by researching wildlife disease at the Escobar's lab. I also volunteer for the SEEDS Nature Center, a local nonprofit that educates children in Blacksburg about wildlife and the environment. In my free time, I love hiking on trails with my dog and hammocking with friends.


Sami Livingston

I am currently working towards earning my bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. My interests reside in global sustainability, behavioral ecology, wildlife disease, and tying them together through environmental education. I am fortunate enough to explore these concepts in the WHAPA Lab by doing data analysis on a scavenging project, and in Dr. Escobar’s lab, where I get to utilize my writing and drawing skills to work on diagrams and papers centered around wildlife disease. I also enjoy working with people; this has led me to become a peer mentor through the Life Science Mentoring Program and a new volunteer at SEEDS—Blacksburg Nature Center. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, painting, drawing, and doing photography.


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