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Beth Hoots (PhD, commenced 2022)

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

In 2017, I began dual bachelor’s degrees in Ecology and Conservation Biology, and Spanish at the University of Idaho (UI) in Moscow, Idaho, USA. Though perhaps an unconventional combination, I put both degrees to the test in 2018 when I joined an international team of conservation biologists at Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Loja, Ecuador for the summer. My work there studying the water quality and invertebrate communities of a series of Andean ponds formed my first academic research experience and helped me focus my interests in aquatic ecology.


In 2019, I began work on my honors thesis, studying the influence of climate warming on aquatic ecosystems in collaboration with the Lake Management Department of the Coeur d’Alene (Schitsu’umsh) tribe and Dr. Frank Wilhelm at UI. For the lab-based study, I collected caddisfly instars (Nectopsyche albida) to observe the influence of warming temperatures on pupation length. I was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for my undergraduate research, and in 2021 I graduated summa cum laude.


After graduating, I worked at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin as a seasonal field technician with Dr. Stuart Jones’ lab. There, I collected data on habitat use and age-structure for two recreational fisheries. After the field season, I joined the Jones lab as a lab technician at the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana until beginning my graduate studies. 


In 2022, I was incredibly privileged to begin a PhD in the Clark Lab, funded by a Deakin University Postgraduate Research scholarship. At Deakin, I will continue to pursue my interests in aquatic ecology and climate change by studying intra-specific variability in the thermal performance of fish. I hope my research will contribute to a broader understanding of how fish respond physiologically to our warming climate. I am thrilled to be joining the Deakin community and looking forward to some exciting science ahead!

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