Colleen has been fascinated with wildlife since she was a child. Growing up in Nebraska, she spent her summers catching frogs, toads and snakes at her lake cabin. She graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2007 with a BSc. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Wildlife Biology. After working in contaminated site remediation for two years in the US, she was given the opportunity to relocate to Western Australia. There Colleen spent the next five years working as an Environmental Scientist and Environmental Officer, where part of her duties included conducting flora and fauna surveys and caring for injured wildlife. While working in the outback, she gained hands-on experience dealing with reptiles (including large venomous snakes), marsupials and mitigating human-dingo conflicts. Colleen next spent 9 months living in a tent in Madagascar volunteering for a non-profit organisation. Her days were spent completing behavioural data on the black and white ruffed lemur, focusing on their home range, social interactions and diet. Most recently she worked in Kenya collecting data on a troop of rehabilitated Sykes monkeys, monitoring their progress after they were released back into the wild. Colleen fell in love with Africa during these experiences and is very excited to stay and study at UCT. During her spare time she loves hiking, running, SCUBA diving, reading, and is always up for a camping trip.
Ecological impacts of invasive mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) colonising the canopy of kelp forests in False Bay, South Africa. (Supervisors: Charles Griffiths, Robert Anderson)