Kelly Garcia is a graduate research assistant at the Environmental Institute of Houston and is pursuing a master’s in environmental science-biology at UHCL. For her thesis, she works on the alligator snapping turtle (AST) project. She is interested in researching whether anthropogenic disturbances in the region impact the geographic distribution of ASTs.
Garcia grew up in Houston and completed her B.S. in biology with a concentration in environmental biosciences at University of Houston-Downtown, graduating magna cum laude in 2019. During her undergrad, she interned for a study that explored the pollination biology of a hyperabundant Amazonian tree species. After graduating, she continued on the project as a full-time research assistant to analyze the data and prepare a manuscript. The position also involved other projects, such as managing the Bat Eco-Interactions Database, where she reviewed the literature to document ecological interactions involving bats and coordinated with an international team. She also briefly volunteered at Rice University on a study of Rwandan wildlife. Kelly’s passion for nature and wildlife has motivated her to continue research in conservation ecology, with an interest in the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on threatened populations and communities, as well as exploring ecological roles, such as seed dispersal, and inter-species dynamics. In her free time, she likes hiking, biking, gardening, making art, and hanging out with her two dogs.