Virginia Tech® home

Grace O’Malley

IGC FELLOW    |   Global Change Center

Ph.D. Student  •   Biological Sciences  

Research Interests: Bioacoustic monitoring, effects of climate change on freshwater organisms, applied conservation science

Advisor: Dr. Meryl Mims


Grace O’Malley is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Meryl Mims’s lab in the Department of Biological Sciences. She is broadly interested in freshwater ecology and conservation. Her research aims to fill knowledge gaps needed for effective conservation of amphibians.

Grace received her B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College in 2020. For her senior thesis, she studied the effects of macroinvertebrates on nutrient cycling in temporary ponds. She also worked on several other projects including trout surveys with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and invasive Round Goby monitoring in the French Creek Watershed. Outside of research, she worked for a science outreach project where she taught freshwater ecology to students in grades K-12.

Following graduation, Grace joined the Mims lab as a research technician in June 2020, then transitioned to a Ph.D. student in the Fall of 2021. She is using passive acoustic monitoring to study populations of the American Bullfrog, an invasive species in the American Southwest, along with populations of the Arizona Treefrog, a state-listed amphibian affected by the bullfrog. Using this data, she will work with collaborators at the US Forest Service to build comprehensive conservation plans. She aims to build modeling skills that can then be applied to other species of conservation need. The Interfaces of Global Change program will be the perfect community to blend Grace’s passion for research and conservation by helping her build skills to inform conservation policy in the future.