Connie A. Rojas

Connie Rojas

Bailey Scholars Program

Graduate Administrative Fellow

​I am a Ph. D Candidate in Dr. Kay Holekamp's behavioral ecology lab at Michigan State University, working toward a dual degree in the Department of Integrative Biology, and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB). My research is at the interface of animal behavior and microbial ecology, exploring how an organism's behavior shapes its microbial communities, and how microbial communities, in turn, influence their host's behavioral phenotype. Specifically, I am studying the socioecological predictors affecting microbiome structure in wild spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), and the functional contributions of various body-site specific microbiomes to hyena behavior, physiology, and fitness. I ultimately hope to become a tenure-track professor at a research-intensive university,  where I will conduct research, and teach, as well as mentor undergraduate students. I am very involved with my community and believe that service, community-engagement and activism are central to my role as an academician and researcher