Her animal planet
Crickets, turtles and lizards—and their place in the biosphere—are immensely important to Taylor Anderson.
Anderson’s academic and career interests run the gamut from conservation biology to zoology. Now a master’s student in environmental science, she completed a double major in environmental biology and animal behavior in 2021.
She is enthusiastic about TU’s science programs, which offer her a wide range of courses to explore and science professors who are passionate about their teaching.
“Having professors who are genuinely excited to teach makes me more excited to understand what they love so much about a topic.” She also admires the fact that her professors actively engage in academic research in their fields.
Anderson, too, is actively pursuing research in the ecotoxicology laboratory of her mentor, Christopher Salice, who directs the environmental science and studies program. She is researching the effects of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances on invertebrates and reptiles. Now a graduate research assistant and lab manager, Anderson started this work as an undergraduate. She says that working alongside other student researchers and a mentor with more than 20 years of experience is enormously enriching.
There is a lighter side to Anderson’s animal interests. As a former TU intern at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, she fed, trained and exercised the educational animals and presented the popular “animal encounters” sessions to aquarium guests. She continues to volunteer there. “I think it’s important to help people understand how important animals are to a cohesive planet.”
After graduation, Anderson plans to continue working in research and possibly pursue a Ph.D. “I also hope to travel and experience everything the Earth has to offer!” she adds.