Ph.D. Students

Justyn Foth

StudentPh.D. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture under the direction of Dr. Francisco Vilella. His doctoral research will focus on waterbird (shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl) use of aquaculture ponds in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Gulf Coast regions. He will be collecting information on invertebrate food resources to estimate potentially available foods to fall migrating birds. He also plans on collecting material from shorebirds, invertebrates, and the environment to estimate stable isotope signatures and relative use of shorebirds in these two regions and identify any possible oil signatures incorporated into migrating bird tissues from the April 2010 deepwater horizon oil spill. He began his graduate work at MSU in autumn 2008, and recently completed his M.S. in spring of 2011 under Dr. Rick Kaminski. His M.S. research focused on aquatic invertebrate biomass and community composition in greentree reservoirs and naturally flooded forests in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Interior Flatwoods. Justyn graduated in 2007 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. His interests include wetlands ecology, waterbird ecology and management, and landscape restoration. Justyn spends his free time hunting, fishing, bird watching, playing with his dog, and exploring the culture and natural resources of the southeast.

Masters Students

Molly Kneece

StudentM.S. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Aquaculture (WFA) studying under Dr. Brian Davis. Molly joined the WFA in August 2012, after graduating from Clemson University in 2012 with a non-thesis, Master of Forest Resources degree and a bachelor's degree in Forest Resource Management. Molly worked for two seasons with the Nemours Wildlife Foundation as a technician on a mottled duck nesting ecology project in the ACE Basin of South Carolina. She has also volunteered with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources capturing and banding wood ducks and mottled ducks. Molly's research focuses on determining habitat use and survival of mottled duck broods in the ACE Basin of South Carolina. This research is important because so little is known about reproduction and brood rearing ecology and management of mottled ducks in South Carolina, despite the species being revered by hunters, bird watchers, and other conservationists. After completing her M.S. degree, Molly hopes to pursue a career in waterfowl and wetland ecology and management. In her spare time, Molly enjoys hunting, fishing, and other outdoor-related activities.

Joe Lancaster

StudentM.S. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture, Mississippi State University, working with Drs. Brian Davis and Rick Kaminski. He joined the Department in spring 2010 after graduating from Lake Superior State University (2007) with a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management and working numerous seasonal technician positions for Delta Waterfowl Foundation and Ducks Unlimited Inc. in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada. He also worked as a technician for MSU graduate students conducting research on wintering waterfowl and wetlands in Mississippi. Joe’s M.S. research addresses the effect that waterfowl hunting two and four days per week on Mississippi Waterfowl Management Areas may have on movements, habitat use, and survival of radiomarked female mallards. Results from his project will help guide managers in making decisions on size, distribution, and habitat composition (including sanctuary areas) of WMAs and other public and private conservation lands for mallards and other wintering ducks. In his spare time, Joe enjoys hunting, bowfishing, photography, and many other outdoor-related activities.

Joseph Marty

StudentM.S. student in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Aquaculture, Mississippi State University, is originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and now working with Drs. Brian Davis, Rick Kaminski, and Mike Brasher (Ducks Unlimited, Inc.). He joined the department in summer 2010 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in May 2010 with a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management and Biology. He worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a seasonal waterfowl technician in northern Minnesota. Joe also spent time working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources trapping and banding waterfowl. Joe’s M.S. research addresses estimating abundance of waste rice and moist-soil seeds in harvested rice and fallow fields as foods for waterfowl wintering in the coastal prairies in Louisiana and the Texas Mid-Coast. Results from his project will help managers make decisions on farming practices and landscape conservation for migrating and wintering waterfowl in this region. After completing his M.S. degree, Joe hopes to pursue a Ph.D. related to waterfowl and wetlands ecology and conservation and then eventually pursue a career in the same discipline. In his spare time, Joe enjoys hunting, bass fishing tournaments, snowboarding, and many outdoor activities