Danielle DeChellis is a graduate research assistant at EIH while pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science with a specialization in biology at University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her thesis will focus on understanding the ecology of the western chicken turtle in Texas, including the impacts of anthropogenic threats on their population and habitat.
DeChellis grew up in the Clear Lake area and received her B.S. in environmental geoscience and minor in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University in December 2019. While at TAMU, she participated in the Applied Biodiversity Science Conservation Scholar’s Program in 2018 where she completed a short-term study on temporal shifts in saltmarsh grass assemblages at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The following summer, she interned with Texas Parks and Wildlife's Dickinson Marine Lab and mainly assisted with their fish and invertebrate sampling in Galveston Bay. In summer of 2019, she spent a month at the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station taking ecology courses that exposed her to major conservation issues and wildlife ecology of the Crown of the Continent region through field excursions in and around Glacier National Park. During her final semester at TAMU, she helped sort camera trap photos of mammals such as ocelots and pumas for ongoing studies in Argentina and Peru. DeChellis plans to continue her ecological studies at EIH and pursue a government or NGO career in conservation biology.