• Dr. Holly Kindsvater

    Principal Investigator

    Dr. Kindsvater has an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. from Yale University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In 2019, after several years doing research, she joined the faculty in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. Outside of work she spends as much time as possible enjoying the natural beauty of Virginia with her family.

Graduate Students

  • Mary Adebote

    Mary Adebote

    Ph.D. Student

    Mary earned her Bachelors degree at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria and her Master’s degree at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana where she studied Fisheries Science. Her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech is co-advised by Emmanuel Frimpong

  • Hailey Conrad

    Hailey Conrad

    Ph.D. Student

    Hailey completed her undergraduate degrees in Marine Sciences and Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University in 2020. At VT, she is studying summer flounder demography and reproduction.

  • Kalin Ferguson

    Kalin Ferguson

    M.S. Student

    Kalin obtained her B.S. at Virginia Tech in both Freshwater Fish Conservation and Wildlife Conservation in 2023. Her master's thesis, co-advised by Kevin Hamed, explores the impact of environmental conditions on the population growth of four-toed salamanders.

  • Charlie Holguin

    Charlie Holguin

    Ph.D. student

    Charlie completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Education and Youth Studies at Beloit College in 2020. He began research on amphibians as an REU at VT in 2018.

  • Emma Hultin

    Emma Hultin

    Ph.D. Student

    Emma has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Conservation from VT. She is developing an integrated model of the socio-ecological dynamics of the arapaima fishery in the Brazilian Amazon. Her dissertation is jointly advised by Leandro Castello.

Postdocs, Collaborators, and Lab Personnel

  • Dr. George Brooks

    Dr. George Brooks

    George finished his Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at VT in 2020. He works on a variety of projects in the Kindsvater lab including the ecological factors associated with viviparity in fishes, reptiles, and amphibians, demographic models of eastern hellbender salamanders, and population models integrating social and ecological factors.

  • Dr. Nathan Pacoureau

    Dr. Nathan Pacoureau

    Nathan finished his Ph.D. in 2018 at the Chizé Centre for Biological Studies, a national lab in France, and completed a postdoc at SFU in Vancouver, BC. He is now working on demographic models of elasmobranch populations.

  • Aspen Gustin

    Aspen Gustin

    Aspen completed her Masters in Animal Science studying Neuroepigenetics at Virginia Tech in 2022. She is currently working in the Kindsvater lab as the lab manager and is assisting Hailey with her Summer Flounder research.


  • Catherine Carrion

    Catherine Carrion

    B.S. in Marine Fisheries Conservation '24

    Catherine is working with Hailey Conrad on summer flounder and other fishy projects.

  • Julian Quinones

    Julian Quinones

    B.S. in Marine Fisheries Conservation '23

    Julian is working with Hailey Conrad on flounder aging. He graduated with a B.S. in Marine Fisheries Conservation in Summer 2023

Lab alumni

  • Julia Coan

    Julia Coan

    B.S. in Biology and Wildlife Conservation '23

    Julia worked with Charlie Holguin on aquatic and terrestrial salamanders in the lab.

  • Corinne Duffy

    Corinne Duffy

    B.S. in Wildlife Conservation '23

    Corinne is interested in herpetology and loves working in the field with salamanders and turtles. She helped keep our salamander colony healthy.

  • Nathan Ferguson

    Nathan Ferguson

    B.S. in Wildlife & Freshwater Fish Conservation (Human Dimensions option) '23

    Nathan's focus is on invasive species and their impacts on native fauna. He worked with Dr. Kindsvater on a local stream fish occupancy survey and also looked at the impacts of an introduced darter on native darter species in the New River watershed.

  • Miriam Hilt

    Miriam Hilt

    B.S. in Wildlife Conservation '24

    Miriam worked with Charlie Holguin studying growth and metabolism of Appalachian salamanders.

  • Joseph Nichols

    Joseph Nichols


    Joe helped Charlie Holguin to study salamander growth and Hailey Conrad with her summer flounder project.

  • Kaitlyn Theberge

    Kaitlyn Theberge

    M.S. Student '22

    Kaitlyn completed her undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and French at Bowdoin College in 2016. Before joining the lab, she gained experience working on small-scale fisheries, the aquaculture industry, and public education.

  • Madeline Burgess

    Madeline Burgess

    B.S. in Marine Fisheries Conservation '22

  • Samuel van Noy

    Samuel van Noy

    Lab Technician

    Sam completed his undergrad at Virginia Tech with a degree in Wildlife Conservation in 2021. He assisted in studying Plethodontid salamander growth rates.

  • Cat Horswill

    Cat Horswill

    Postdoc (Rutgers)

    Cat is now a researcher at the Zoological Society of London and University College London. During her postdoc, Cat worked on imputing life history traits of data-poor tunas and sharks in collaboration with Jason Matthiopoulos at the University of Glasgow.

  • Chris Mull

    Chris Mull

    Postdoc (Rutgers)

    Chris is now a researcher at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During his postdoc, Chris led the assembly and publication of the shark trait database (www.Sharkipedia.org).

  • Kiva Oken

    Kiva Oken

    Postdoc (Rutgers)

    Kiva worked on a project estimating differential mortality of females, males, and terminal sex-changing males using Black Sea Bass tagging data, in collaboration with Olaf Jensen at Rutgers. She is now a fisheries scientist at the NWFSC in Seattle.