Millersville University Hosts Wildlife Field Day Event

On Saturday September 22nd, Millersville hosted the 2nd Pennsylvania Chapter of the Wildlife Society Wildlife Training Field Day Event.  Approximately 100 students and wildlife professionals from around the state including IUP, Penn State, Penn State – DuBois, Keystone College, York College, PA Game Commission, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, Normandeau Associates Environmental Consultants, and others attended this event.  We had 15 Millersville Students participate in this event.  Details of the event can be found on this link: .

Millersville Students Present at International Wildlife Conference in Cleveland

Millersville Biology students Delaney Costante and Grace Smoot both attended the Annual Wildlife Society Meeting which took place in Cleveland Ohio.   This Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals, educators, and influencers in North America.

The conference enables people to attend a number of education sessions that are directly applicable to wildlife work and research, and allows participants to network with a variety of wildlife experts and colleagues from around North America and the world.

The Millersville presentations took place during the Conservation Policy and Planning session and included talks on ‘Temporal Analysis of Threats Impacting Federally Protected Species’, and a second presentation on ‘Recovery of Species from the Endangered Species Act’.

Grace and Delaney also had time to explore downtown Cleveland on the edge of Lake Erie and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dr. Aaron Haines presents research to Defenders of Wildlife

The Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI) at Defenders of Wildlife works at the intersection of conservation science, technology, and policy to develop creative solutions to the biggest challenges facing wildlife.  In October of 2018, Dr. Matthias Leu and Dr. Aaron Haines presented their cutting-edge research as the first speakers of the CCI Seminar Series.  The data presented was a result of 3 years of undergraduate student efforts at William and Mary College and Millersville University to quantify how threats causing species to become endangered have changed over time.  Refer to the link below for more details.

Quantifying Threats to Improve Species Recovery, by Dr. Matthias Leu (College of William Mary) and Dr. Aaron Haines (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)

Millersville Students Meet With Defenders of Wildlife

On Saturday September 1st, Millersville Students Delaney Costante, Grace Smoot, Emily Ritter and Michella Salvitti and College of William and Mary students Francesco Franzese and Gian Giger met with Defenders of Wildlife in Washington D.C. to present their Endangered Species Act research project.  Students also discussed potential collaborative efforts with Defenders of Wildlife to continue working on endangered species research projects , specifically with the Center of Conservation Innovation (

Active Audio Bat Surveys

For Summer 2018, Millersville University is involved in surveying bats in Lancaster County.  This survey effort is being led by Millersville Biology Student Carter Farmer.  The objective of the survey is to document the presence of rare bat species on Lancaster County Conservancy Properties. Surveys are conducted using specialized, sensitive microphones to record bat calls.  For bat species identification, the SonobatLIVE software program is used to illustrate patterns of recorded bat calls and uses maximum likelihood estimators to match recorded calls to those of known bat species.

Below are the results of an active audio survey conducted for bats on the Lancaster County Conservancy Climber’s Run Preserve.

Millersville Biology Students are Award Winners At CPUB

On Friday and Saturday April 6th-7th, 2018, Millersville Biology Faculty Drs. Ryan Wagner, Carol Hepfer, John Wallace and Aaron Haines were accompanied by Millersville undergraduate biology students to attend the 49th Annual Meeting of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Biologists at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.  This year, there were 33 oral presentation and 100 poster presentations from 11 Pennsylvania Universities.  Each university had biology students attend the Annual CPUB meeting to present their research findings.  Below is a picture of those from Millersville University who attended this year’s conference.

Millersville’s CPUB Attendees.  Back from left to right: Dr. Aaron Haines, Edwin Sanchez, Courtland Hess, Katelyn Newcamp, Megan Davies, Jenn Houtz, Dr. John Wallace, Dr. Ryan Wagner, Austin Harrison and Marie Stoltzfus. In Front from left to right: Delaney Costante, Carli Parenti, Rachel Davies, Olivia Rosensteel, Natalie Auman, Sierra Baney, Mireya Lopez-Jimenez, Marisa Macchia, Lindsay Matter and Dr. Carol Ely Hepfer.


Presentations by Millersville University Students at the 49th Annual CPUB Meeting

            (Faculty advisors are denoted by *.)

  • Auman, C. Hess, A. Haines*, Do Small Mammals Prey Switch During the Winter? An Evaluation of Invertebrate Prey Availability in the Subfolium Level of the Forest Floor (Second Place for Best Ecology Oral Presentation)


  • M. Costante, A. Haines*, C. Parenti, O. Rosensteel, A. Sandercock, G. Smoot, K.Thomas, C. Check, M. Dungan, J. Evans, C. Goulding, M. Hollingsworth, M. Leu, I. Ritrovato, M. Ryan, A.M. Rydberg, T. Treakle, and A. Windley. Temporal analysis of threats impacting federally protected species(Dr. Aaron Haines*)


  • J. Davies, A. Haines*, and L. Goodrich. Plausibility of a student-run hawkwatch site at Millersville University. (Dr. Aaron Haines*)


  • D. Parenti, O.D. Rosensteel, G.R. Smoot, D.M. Costante, and A.M. Haines*.

Documenting success: recovery of species from the Endangered Species Act (Dr. Aaron Haines)


  • D. Baney, M. Lopez Jimenez, and C. Ely Hepfer*. Alternative mRNA processing

leads to the expression of distinct twitchin isoforms in squid muscles with different contractile properties. (Second Place for Best Cell & Molecular Poster)


  • J. Stoltzfus, J.D. Stoltzfus*, and C. Ely Hepfer*. Identification of tissue-specific splice-forms encoding the large elastic protein kettin in squid muscles exhibiting diverse contractile properties. 


  • E. Davis, B.M. Horton*, and J.R. Wallace* Potential for the Bioaccumulation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemical: An assessment of water, sediment, and aquatic insects. (First Place for Best Ecology Poster)


  • J.L. Houtz, J.P. Receveur, M.E. Benbow, J.L. Pechal, B.M. Horton*, and J.R. Wallace* Postmortem succession of the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) gasterointestinal microbiota. (First Place for Best Ecology Poster)


  • D. Sanchez, N.A. Olsen, and B. Stevens* A morphometric comparison of two Cancrid crab species: Cancer borealis and C. irratus. (Second Place for Best Ecology Poster)


  • M. Constante and J.G.Boal* Behavioral assay to determine sound sensitivities of Fundus heteroclitus. (Dr. Jean Boal)


  • A. Newcamp and J.G. Boal* Analysis of internal parasites between wild and captive white-tailed deer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (Dr. Jean Boal)

Millersville University Biology students also won the Lab Olympics event hosted by Mansfield University.  This would be the third year in a row where Millersville Biology students have come in first place for team competitions at CPUB annual meetings.

All MU students who gave either platform or poster presentations should be commended for their efforts on representing the University and the high caliber of science they conduct with top honors. Some of our students had the added good fortune to earn first or second place awards and a few are represented in the photos below. Of notable mention, Marie Stoltzfus, chosen by the Biology Department as Millersville’s Outstanding Biology Student of the Year, was recognized at the banquet, and, prior to the conference, Jenn Houtz was awarded a CPUB Research Grant.

Next year, Edinboro University will be host the 50th CPUB Annual Meeting.

Shrew Project

We are closing up the trapping season this semester for the Millersville Shrew Project.  The purpose of this project is to monitor the shrew activity and their prey base over the winter season on the Millersville Biological Preserve.  Both Natalie Auman and Courtland Hess have been busy collecting and recording data.  Efforts will resume in the Spring semester and we welcome anyone who is interested to help out.

Natalie Shrew IMG_1595

Millersville Biology Alumni Keena Elbin in the News

Millersville Alum Keena Elbin (15′)  has been keeping busy in the field working with American and Hickory Shad all over the Chesapeake bay with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  She has also been involved in tagging Atlantic Sturgeon. Below is a link to the WUSA9 news website from Keena’s first day out sturgeon fishing this summer. Check it out!

Conservation Happenings at Millersville University

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