NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Division of Biological Sciences
226 Tucker Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
Current Undergraduate Researchers:
My research interests broadly encompass several aspects of population genetics, ecology, ethology, conservation, and habitat management. My work is heavily influenced by computer programming and software and I frequently utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Python programming language, R-Software Packages, QIIME, and overall population modeling in my research.
For my dissertation research, I am studying the conservation genetics of the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) using molecular scatology to determine connectivity between the heavily fragmented populations in Southeast Asia; primarily in Laos. The first part of my dissertation evaluated the overall range wide genetic diversity and historic habitat models of the species by accumulating data from published studies. I also am conducting research on the effects of habitat transformation on a large multi-population scale. Lastly, I have been working on developing the methodology to obtain genomic quality DNA from dung samples. The overall objective of my research is to aid in Asian elephant conservation and management, reduce poaching for the illegal ivory trade, and combat human/elephant conflict zones.
Previously, I graduated from Southern Utah University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in chemistry in early 2015. As an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Laurie Mauger, I studied the mating structure and mate fidelity of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) found in Costa Rica (Budd et al., 2015). During that time, I was also a wildlife technician with the US Forest Service at Dixie National Forest monitoring forest indicator and threatened/endangered species, such as the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) and Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). After joining MU as a PhD Student, I briefly collaborated with the Missouri Department of Conservation on a project evaluating genetic structure and recovery of their White-tailed deer populations (Budd et al., under revision).
Budd, K., J. Spotila, and L.A. Mauger. (2015). Preliminary mating analysis of American Crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, in Las Baulas, Santa Rosa, and Palo Verde National Parks, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. South American Journal of Herpetology. 10(1): 4-9.
Budd, K., L. Berkman, M. Anderson, J. Koppleman, and L.S. Eggert. (Under Revision). Genetic Structure and Recovery of the Missouri White-Tailed Deer. Journal of Wildlife Management.
Ahlering, M., K. Budd, S. Schuttler, and L.S. Eggert. (Submitted) Genetics and the Conservation of the Extant Elephant Species. Ortega, J. and J. E. Maldonado (Editors). Conservation Genomics in Mammals: integrative research using novel approaches. Springer.
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