As a lost and confused undergraduate, Brittany headed up to Alaska to work at a fish cannery. Around day 40 of grading salmon for 16 hours a day, Brittany had a huge motivation to follow her passion of wildlife research and conservation. She emailed Dr. Monteith that evening and began working as an intern in the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit upon her return to Wyoming. She quickly knew she was in the right field and stayed in the coop as a technician and as an undergraduate researcher. Her research focused on edge effects of rodents on natural gas fields. After graduating in December 2017, Brittany worked on a desert bighorn sheep project in Nevada, where she became addicted to sheep country and very curious about how and why sheep do the things they do. She returned to the Monteith Shop to do reconnaissance field work for the bighorn sheep nutrition-disease project and will continue this work as a master’s student starting in Fall 2018.
Besides wondering about the crazy things sheep do, Brittany will be investigating cause-specific mortality of lambs and the role of nutrition, habitat, and disease in Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep population dynamics. She is excited about this project as it simultaneously satisfies her research interests and her inner adventurer. She hopes her research will help inform management and conservation of bighorn sheep in Wyoming as well as other populations.
When Brittany isn’t in the office or cliffed-out in sheep country, she’s likely climbing up a slope on her skis or mountain bike with her dog, Koda. She enjoys all three types of fun through climbing, backpacking, live music, hunting, reading non-fiction, and traveling.