The HEDGE lab has just moved to Vermont! We are excited to welcome new members and explore new research directions.

Alexis M. Mychajliw

Principal Investigator

Alexis is an Assistant Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. She is also a Research Associate at the La Brea Tar Pits, part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution. She received her BS from Cornell University in 2012 and PhD from Stanford University in 2017. She was formerly a postdoctoral researcher at Hokkaido University in Japan and the University of Oklahoma. Her research is at the intersection of conservation biology, paleontology, and ecology. Learn more about her here.

Email: amychajliw[@], CV: click here for a copy of her CV

Drew An-Pham

Undergraduate Researcher, Middlebury College

Drew (’23) is an Environmental Studies and Geography Major at Middlebury College. He is originally from Houston, TX, and in his free time enjoys rowing, listening to podcasts/public radio, cooking with friends, and trying every creemee and gourmet hot dog he can get his hands on in Vermont.

Drew is currently doing freelance GIS/Cartography and starting a research project pertaining to mapping either coral or oysters for his senior work..

Elizabeth Austin

Undergraduate Researcher, Middlebury College

Elizabeth (’24) studies Environmental Science and Earth & Climate Science at Middlebury College. She is from Memphis, TN, and enjoys playing rugby, cooking, crafts, and getting outside.

Elizabeth is currently working on data from packrat middens in Southern California and participated in an international literature review about conservation paleobiology. She was recently a summer intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History through the lab’s NSF furbearing mammals project.

Valentina Hogenhuis

Undergraduate Researcher, Middlebury College & Fairbanks Museum, St. Johnsbury

Valentina (’22.5) is an Environmental Policy major and Italian minor at Middlebury College. She is from San Francisco, CA, and in her free time enjoys skiing, playing the flute, knitting, and going to swimming holes. She is currently working with the Fairbanks Museum to digitize, analyze, and interpret their collection of over 700 first bloom and fruit dates for wildflowers.

Amanda Manoogian

Undergraduate Researcher, Middlebury College

Amanda (‘23.5) is an Environmental Studies-Earth and Climate Science joint major with a minor in English. She is from Washington, DC, and she enjoys yoga, skiing, reading, and drawing in her free time. Amanda is currently working on her senior thesis, analyzing sediments from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA.

Jess Mulder

Human-Wildlife Coexistence Intern, Middlebury College

Jess (‘22.5) is a Biology major with minors in Psychology and Studio Art. She is a member of the Middlebury College Snow Bowl Ski Patrol and in her free time she loves to make play volleyball and make focaccia bread. The most important part of her 5 year plan is adopting a wiener dog named Pickle. She will be working with the Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) and other local landowners to monitor beaver populations and support coexistence.

Olivia Olson

NSF Post-baccalaureate Researcher, Middlebury College

Olivia (‘21.5) studied Biology and German at Middlebury College. She enjoys writing songs and has published several short stories in student-led art journals. She is from Islesboro, Maine.

Olivia wrote her thesis on the sea mink using morphology and local ecological knowledge of Mai. She is continuing this research as a post-bac researcher/ lab tech in the HEDGE lab!

Lucia Snyderman

Undergraduate Researcher, Middlebury College

Lucia (‘23.5) is majoring in Biology with a minor in Italian. She is from Pittsburgh, PA and in her free time enjoys hiking, playing tennis, reading, and writing poems. Lucia is thrilled to join the HEDGE lab, gain some fossil fieldwork experience, and learn more about Maine seabirds like the Great Auk during the Holocene!


Lab mascot

Gus is a blind African pygmy hedgehog. His interests include mealworms, bananas, and running on his wheel. Gus does not have an email address or CV.

Lab Alumni

Jack Cornish (’22) Environmental Studies – Biology

Jack studied beaver populations on college owned land and assessed potential impacts to human structures and activities that the beavers may pose.

Ezra Flint (’22) Environmental Studies – Geology

Ezra wrote a thesis about the sediments at the La Brea Tar Pits and other tar pits worldwide.

Audrey Hsi (’22) Biology & Anthropology

Audrey studied archaeological and modern beavers in Vermont. She is now a graduate student at Stanford University in Anthropology.

Ellie Kroger (’23) Environmental Studies – Biology

Ellie majored in Conservation Biology and studied coral nursery environmental monitoring techniques in Tobago as a cross-cultural community engagement intern.

Sylvie Lyu

Sylvie (’24) studies English at Middlebury College. She organized the bird natural history collection and led efforts to digitize our specimens and examine them for arsenic using XRF.

Andrew Ng (’22) Biology & Economics

Andrew developed a camera trapping and drone protocol for beaver monitoring and helped install a Beaver Deceiver device for the campus storm drain pond.

Emma Norton (’22) Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Emma studied environmental DNA from soils in comparison with camera trap images of mammals.

Maggie Swanson (‘22.5) Environmental Studies – Biology

Maggie assisted in compiling extinctions that have taken place on island systems throughout the world during the Holocene. She was an intern with the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville.

Stanford University: Lauren Gibson

Lauren completed her undergraduate honors thesis at Stanford University on the impacts of climate change on the Hispaniolan Solenodon while Alexis was a PhD student. She published her thesis in Conservation Biology. She is now pursuing a PhD in environmental education after a NOAA fellowship. You can learn more here.

Stanford University: Laura Cussen

Laura completed her undergraduate honors thesis at Stanford University on the range of bite force exerted by insectivorous mammals as a proxy for understanding the diet of extinct Caribbean island shrews. She now works in the Protected Areas Department of the Chilean Ministry of the Environment.

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