Student NameCallie San Antonio
Faculty Mentor NameLuke Flory
CollegeCollege of Agricultural and Life Sciences
MajorWildlife Ecology and Conservation
Research InterestsTropical and subtropical ecology, restoration ecology, marine biology, ecosystem and landscape ecology, benthic communities, animal behavior, and coral reef ecology
Academic AwardsJennings Scholarship and Florida Academic Scholars
OrganizationsCollegiate Plant Initiative, UF Chapter of the Wildlife Society, UF Society for Conservation Biology
Hobbies and InterestsPlaying the violin in the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra, cooking, hiking, reading, hammocking, and watching movies

Research Project

Effects of an Invasive Plant on Rodent Foraging Behavior

Rodent behavior is heavily dependent on environmental factors, such as foraging for food, and invasive plants can drastically alter a landscape, changing the ecosystem and species found within it. Knowing how this relationship functions, between invasive plants and animal behavior, can help researchers understand how invasive plants function in an environment, possibly affecting native species. In my project, my co-investigators and I are testing to see if the effects of an invasive plant – Cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica) – significantly alters rodent foraging. We are utilizing 20 plots out at the Bivens Arm Research Site in Gainesville, using 10 control and 10 with Cogon grass. With these plots, we are conducting bi-monthly sessions that include four nights of sampling (to account for mostly nocturnal rodent behavior), placing trays filled with 1 liter of sand and 5 grams of covered longleaf pine seeds overnight. After each night period, trays are collected and remaining seeds are counted to determine which plots have higher rodent forging activities, with the aid of trail cameras to determine time spent foraging. My research will shed light on how invasive plant species indirectly alter rodent behavior and their seed consumption, thereby potentially affecting the regeneration of native plant species.