Samantha Alford is a M.S. student in the department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley where her passion for the outdoors lead her to pursue a career in natural resources management. She graduated from Juniata College in 2014 with a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation. Since graduation, she worked two consecutive summers in Alaska studying hatchery-wild interactions of salmon and another summer in Virginia monitoring brook trout populations.
Samantha’s research interests include environmental and anthropogenic impacts on fish assemblages, native and non-native species interactions, and factors affecting native fish persistence. Currently, her research focuses on factors influencing movement and recolonization rates of two native fish species, mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdii) and mountain sucker (C. platyrhynchus), in the Wyoming Range. The Wyoming Range fish populations are heavily impacted by multiple stressors including oil and gas development, grazing, flow alteration, and climate change. Determining if movement and recolonization capabilities influence native fish persistence is crucial to preserving the Wyoming Range fish assemblage.