Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2024 Recipient – Tiffany DeGroot

Tiff DeGroot standing on a tree branch overlooking a wooded area below
Tiff DeGroot – Forest Science

Tiff DeGroot is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Brzeski and Wolfe Laboratories at MTU, where she investigates mammal diversity and distribution across Equatorial Guinea in central Africa. Her research leverages noninvasive techniques such as remote trail cameras, known as “camera trapping,” and DNA metabarcoding of carrion flies to study environmental DNA (eDNA). Carrion flies consume tissue from various mammals, providing a window into local biodiversity. This can be especially effective at detecting rare or arboreal species not typically captured by camera traps.

Tiff focuses on how human activities influence wildlife, with a particular interest in developing and applying conservation measures to mitigate negative interactions between humans and wildlife. Her work helps researchers and local wildlife managers to understand mammal populations in Equatorial Guinea, informing conservation efforts that aim to preserve the region’s unique biodiversity. Her research along with other work has led to the designation of a new protected area in Equatorial Guinea.

Tiff earned a B.S. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of New Hampshire in 2015, and has worked in the global wildlife conservation nonprofit space since 2017. When she is not coding or in the lab, she enjoys hiking with her rescue dog and creating ceramic art.