Hello! My name is Maria Robles Gonzalez and I am a new virtual intern for the No Bones blog, where I will be translating previous posts to Spanish and working with Allen Collins and Liz Boatman to write new posts. I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of California – Davis, majoring in Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology and minoring in French. Since my studies have been primarily based on vertebrates, I was very excited to have the opportunity to expand my learning to invertebrates, as they represent such a diverse number of organisms.
A little about me- I have been involved at the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology on my campus for a couple years, focusing on bird curation. Getting to work with so many different specimens in one place sparked my interest in museums, and this past summer I interned at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum, working with the archives and learning a great deal of fascinating history about the history of California’s first mining ventures. Eventually, my curiosity for museums led me to this internship through the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Some other fun experiences I have enjoyed include working with graduate students Bobby Walsh and Katherine Smith on their respective research projects. With Bobby, I participated in a fun songbird nest box monitoring project, traveling to two field sites and checking nest boxes along transects for nest types, eggs, nestlings, and learning to measure and band birds.
And with Katherine, I have volunteered on her research with the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, which is also endemic to the San Francisco Bay. I have had some great experiences in the field – performing radio telemetry and setting traps in the marshes of Suisun- as well as learning to analyze videos for dietary preferences of the species.
And I recently joined the Patricelli Lab at UC Davis as a volunteer research associate. There, I am learning to perform sound analysis with different programs, working to analyze the acoustic displays of Greater Sage-Grouse males and discover possible correlations with sexual selection by females.
I am extremely thankful to be welcomed into the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and look forward to working with everyone and learning more about the wonders of invertebrates, a new world for me!
By Maria Robles Gonzalez