Emma obtained her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology as a Cornelius Vanderbilt Honors Scholar at Vanderbilt University. Internships in wildlife rehabilitation, speciation genetics, microbial genomics, and population ecology inspired her dedication to species conservation. For her commitment to public service in the environmental sphere, she was named Truman Scholar for the state of Georgia 2012. After she graduated from Vanderbilt in December 2012, she spent the four months in Chiapas, Mexico, reintroducing the scarlet macaw to the rainforests of Palenque. The following summer she interned for the Alliance for Zero Extinction in the offices of American Bird Conservancy.
In August 2013, she departed on a year-long circumnavigation of the globe, visiting wildlife conservation projects in biodiversity hotspots as Vanderbilt University’s Keegan Traveling Fellow. Meanwhile, she deferred her admittance to Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, where she originally hoped to specialize in wildlife/exotic medicine.
After her year of international experience in myriad aspects of wildlife conservation, she decided to enter doctoral studies in Biodiversity and Conservation at the Graduate School of Environment, Society, and Global Change, University of Freiburg, Germany. Working between the field in El Oro, Ecuador and the lab in Freiburg, Germany; she will be completing a project on “Combatting habitat fragmentation’s impact on the cooperatively breeding parakeet Pyrrhura orcesi”. One day, she would love to investigate and advocate conservation approaches through a program such as the WWF’S Conservation Science Program.