Curriculum Vitae

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Texas A&M University, Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences
Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Trainee, Applied Biodiversity Sciences NSF-IGERT
Advisor: Dr. Kirk O. Winemiller
College Station, TX
Drexel University, Pennoni Honors College
B.S. in Environmental Science, Summa Cum Laude
GPA: 3.95
Philadelphia, PA
Sea Education Association
SEA Semester Class 203
GPA: 4.0
Woods Hole, MA


Texas A&M University
Research Fellow
College Station, TX
Designed and conducted research in fulfillment of PhD; supported by several intramural and extramural fellowships during tenure; performed three 1–2 month expeditions to the Xingu River in Brazil to survey fish communities; analyzed seasonal patterns of community assembly using functional trait and null modeling approaches; assessed seasonal patterns in food web structure using stable isotope methods
Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program
Field Camp Manager
Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Managed remote sea turtle research camp; organized and provisioned 6 month field season; maintained project equipment including generators, satellite phone, and scientific gear; trained and supervised local census takers; conducted study on the gas exchange occurring within leatherback nests
Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program
Research Assistant: Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation
Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Identified turtles using PIT tags; performed health assessment and collected nesting ecology data during nesting season; built and maintained project database using Microsoft Access in off-season; assisted with training and teaching of co-op students
Trans-Pacific Engineering Corporation
Consulting Scientist for PWD Office of Watersheds
Philadelphia, PA
Surveyed streams for fluvial geomorphology study using both a total station and RTK GPS receiver; created a priority list for storm water basin retrofits using Arc GIS software and field surveys; conducted electro-fishing surveys and modeled fish habitat suitability in River 2D
Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watersheds
Watershed Sciences Intern
Philadelphia, PA
Assessed and mapped intertidal wetlands for wetland banking program; conducted algae and macro-invertebrate sampling throughout watershed; assessed stream erosion for sediment TMDL through hazard indexes and bank pin measurements
Pacuare Nature Reserve
Research Assistant: Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation
Limon Province, Costa Rica
Led students on nightly beach patrols to collect nesting ecology data; taught sea turtle ecology and
conservation classes
Drexel University Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology
Research Assistant: Red-Bellied Turtle Population Study
Philadelphia, PA
Examined health condition of captured turtles and marked scute ID codes for mark-recapture study;
applied transmitters to P. rubriventris and tracked movements


Guest Lecturer Essentials in Biology – Origins of life and prokaryotic diversity     Texas A&M University 2015
Guest Lecturer Field Perspective on the Amazon Basin
(via Skype)
    St. Anne’s Episcopal School 2014
Guest Lecturer Introduction to Biodiversity Conservation     Texas A&M University 2013
Private Tutor SAT preparatory course     Study Point Inc. 2010–2011
Private Tutor High school level biology, physical science, and Spanish for international students from China and Korea     Self Employed 2010–2011


Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award, College of Life Sciences 2016 $500
Texas A&M College of Life Sciences Development Grant 2016 $1,000
Texas A&M College of Life Sciences Tom Slick Fellowship 2015 $30,437
Texas A&M Graduate Student Council Travel Award 2015 $500
Texas A&M Office of Graduate Students Travel Award 2015 $500
Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Graduate Seed Grant 2015 $50
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention 2013  
Clark Hubbs Research Scholarship, Texas Chapter AFS 2013 $500
3rd Place Poster, Ecological Integration Symposium 2012
Best Poster, Texas Chapter American Fisheries Society 2012  
NSF-IGERT in Applied Biodiversity Science 2011 $80,000
Texas A&M University Excellence Fellowship 2011 $7,000
Texas A&M University Graduate Merit Fellowship 2011 $63,112
W. W. Smith Charitable Trust, SEA Scholarship 2006 $10,000
Best Oral Presentation, Drexel Biology Research Day 2003  
A. J. Drexel Scholarship 2003 $65,000
Glenolden Business Association Scholarship 2003 $500


Pianka, E.R., L.J. Vitt, N. Pelegrin, D.B. Fitzgerald, K.O. Winemiller (2017) Towards a periodic table of niches or Exploring the lizard niche hypervolume. The American Naturalist: in press.

Fitzgerald, D.B., K.O. Winemiller, M.H. Sabaj Perez, L.M. Sousa (2017) Using trophic structure to reveal patterns of trait-based community assembly across niche dimensions. Functional Ecology: 31: 1135–1144

Vitule, J.R.S., A.A. Agostinho, V.M. Azevedo-Santos, V.S. Daga, W.R.T. Darwall, D.B. Fitzgerald, F.A. Frehse, D.J. Hoeinghaus, D.P. Lima-Junior, A.L.B. Magalhães, M.L. Orsi, A.A. Padial, F.M. Pelicice, M. Petrere Jr., P.S. Pompeu, K.O. Winemiller (2017) We need better understanding about functional diversity and vulnerability of tropical freshwater fishes. Biodiversity & Conservation: 26(3): 757–762.

Fitzgerald, D.B., K.O. Winemiller, M.H. Sabaj Perez, L.M. Sousa (2017) Seasonal changes in the assembly mechanisms structuring tropical fish communities. Ecology 98(1): 21–31.

Zuluaga Goméz, M.A., D.B. Fitzgerald, T. Giarrizzo, K.O. Winemiller (2016) Morphologic and trophic diversity of fish assemblages in rapids of the Xingu River, a major Amazon tributary and region of endemism. Environmental Biology of Fishes 99(8): 647–658.

Winemiller, K.O., P. McIntyre, L. Castello, E. Fluet-Chouinard, T. Giarrizzo, S. Nam, I.G. Baird, W. Darwall, N.K. Lujan, I. Harrison, M.L.J. Stiassny, R.A.M. Silvano, D.B. Fitzgerald, F.M. Pelicice, A.A. Agostinho, et al. (2016) Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong. Science 351(6269): 128–129.

Fitzgerald, D.B., M. Tobler, K.O. Winemiller (2016) From richer to poorer: successful invasion by freshwater fishes depends on species richness of donor and recipient basins. Global Change Biology 22(7): 2440–2450.

Honarvar, S., D.B. Fitzgerald, C. L. Weitzman, E. M. Sinclair, J. M. Esara Echube, M. P. O’Connor, G. W. Hearn. (2016) Assessment of important marine turtle nesting populations on the southern coast of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 15(1): 79–89.

Landon, A.C., C.J. van Riper, N.F. Angeli, D.B. Fitzgerald, K.D. Neam (2015) Growing transdisciplinary roots in the Peruvian Amazon: reflections of an experiential learning program. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies 14(1): 2–12.

Winemiller, K.O., D.B. Fitzgerald, L.M. Bower, E.R. Pianka (2015) Functional traits, convergent evolution, and periodic tables of niches. Ecology Letters 18(8): 737–751.

Fitzgerald, D.B., E.M. Ordway, S. Honarvar, G.W. Hearn (2011) Challenges confronting sea turtle conservation on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 10(2): 177–180.

Honarvar, S., M.C. Brodsky, D.B. Fitzgerald, K.L. Rosenthal, G.W. Hearn (2011) Changes in plasma chemistry and reproductive output of nesting leatherbacks. Herpetologica 67(3): 222–235.


Fitzgerald, D.B., K.O. Winemiler, M.H. Sabaj Pérez, L.M. Sousa. 2016. Seasonal changes in the functional community assembly of tropical fishes; Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America and the 16th Annual Ecological Integration Symposium

Fitzgerald, D.B., M. Tobler, K.O. Winemiler. 2015. Evidence for biotic resistance in highly diverse tropical rivers; Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America

Sabaj, M.H., D.B. Fitzgerald, L.M. Sousa. 2015. Where the Xingu bends: exploring Volta Grande by land, air, and water; Oral presentation at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Fitzgerald, D.B., M.A. Gomez, T Giarrizzo, et al. 2015. Food web structure of the lower Xingu River; Oral presentation at the 15th Annual Ecological Integration Symposium

Fitzgerald, D.B., M.A. Gomez, T Giarrizzo, et al. 2014. Food web structure of the lower Xingu River: a unique and immediately imperiled ecosystem in the lower Amazon; Oral presentation at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Fitzgerald, D.B., M. Tobler, K.O. Winemiller. 2012. Are successful fish invasions always from species-rich into species-poor communities?; poster presentation at Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, and at Texas A&M 13th Annual Ecological Integration Symposium

Honarvar, S., M.C. Brodsky, D.B. Fitzgerald, G.W. Hearn. 2010. Health assessment of leatherback turtles nesting on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea; oral presentation at 30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation

Fitzgerald, D.B., S. Honarvar, G.W. Hearn. 2010. Nesting ecology of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, on Bioko Island’s southern beaches, Equatorial Guinea; poster presentation at 30th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation

Honarvar, S. D.B. Fitzgerald, F.R. Etingue, G.W. Hearn. 2009. Integrating local communities into wildlife conservation on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea; poster presentation at 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Conservation Biology 


Training Workshop, Cambodian Inland Fisheries Research Institute
Organizing Committee

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Applied Biodiversity NSF-IGERT Program
Peer-review Workshop Coordinator
College Station, TX
Ecological Integration Symposium, Texas A&M University
Organizing Committee

College Station, TX

Applied Biodiversity Science NSF-IGERT Program
Student Representative

College Station, TX

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Student Group
Student Liaison

College Station, TX

Fish Survey Volunteer

College Station, TX

Sea Education Association

Woods Hole, MA

Schooner North Wind, Philadelphia City Sail

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University Alternative Spring Break
Trip Leader & Trip Participant
Philadelphia, PA


From undergrad to conservation professional, SCB Student Chapter 2015 College Station, TX
Rethinking Green, KEOS Public Radio 2013 College Station, TX



Spanish: intermediate, written and oral comprehension

Portuguese: beginner, basic oral comprehension



Biological Invasions: 2 Ecology Letters: 1
Freshwater Science: 2 Journal of Fish Biology: 1 
PLoS ONE: 1 Ecology: 1 



Ecological Society of America 2015–2016
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists 2014–2015
American Fisheries Society, Texas Chapter 2011–2013