Keynote Speakers

2021 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Samniqueka Halsey, Computational Ecologist, Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA


Samniqueka Halsey is currently an Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Health in the School of Natural Resources. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology from the University of Illinois-Urbana – Champaign. Her research stresses the importance of using long-term data sets, GIS, and remote sensing. She uses computational approaches to understand the mechanisms involved in the patterns we see in nature. Most of her work involves using modeling approaches to delineate how spatial and temporal changes in ecological interactions influence a focal species. She holds a particular interest in informing management actions with her models. As a computational ecologist, she takes integrative approaches to modeling complex systems while examining the consequences that management actions on biodiversity conservation and emerging disease systems play across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales.

More information on her research and publications can be found here.

Dr. Halsey’s Keynote AddressFriday, March 5, 1:30 PM MST, via Zoom

Understanding ecological patterns using long-term data sets, remote sensing and computational approaches

Dr. Delia S. Shelton, NIH National Institutes Environmental Health and Safety (NIEHS) K99/R00 Postdoctoral Fellow, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA


Dr. Delia Shelton is a NIH National Institute for Environmental Health and Safety K99/R00 postdoctoral fellow studying how environmental features, including contaminants affect the social lives of wild and domestic zebrafish.  She graduated from Southwestern University with a BS in Animal Behavior and Spanish. After spending a year abroad conducting research at Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica and University of Ghana, Shelton received a teaching certificate from Prairie View A&M University. She then taught science at an inner-city high school in the 7th largest school district in the United States.  In 2016, Shelton completed a dual PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Evolution Ecology and Behavior. She was awarded 7 fellowships including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a United Negro College Fund•Merck Fellowship, and has published 17 scholarly works. Dr. Shelton coordinated the Charles H. Turner Program through the Animal Behavior Society. She serves as Technical lead for Visioglow, a NSF supported, protected technology that helps finfish farmers become more eFISHent.

More information on her research and publications can be found here.

Dr. Shelton’s Keynote AddressWednesday, March 3 , 10:00 AM MST, via Zoom

A tale of two finned kin, the environment affects all within

To protect ecosystems and human health we must understand how the physical and social environments interact to produce phenotypes. Environments are expected to change at alarming rates. Thus, there is a need to understand how environmental features impact multi-level organizations (e.g., individuals-groups-populations) to predict consequences and mitigate risk. I will describe how my team and I identify key aspects of the environment (e.g., structures, water flow, vegetation, pollution) that affect the density, group size, social networks, vision, and collective responses of wild and domesticated zebrafish (Danio rerio) in the laboratory and in the field. My findings emphasize the ways that subtle changes in the environment can profoundly impact individuals and groups.