The Professor Robert Tindall Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Undergraduate Research Internship

The Professor Robert Tindall Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Undergraduate Research Internship was created in honor of Robert Tindall by his partner Linda Lynn.

Established in 2013 to provide a paid research internship for freshman or sophmores with laboratory and/or field experience in areas of biodiversity and conservation biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  Robert was a teacher of business and of life for forty years.  He was a Professor in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and founding director of the Entrepreneurship Program.  His passion for learning and teaching continues with this internship program.

2013 Recipients:

Johanna Quanzin


My name is Johanna Ouanzin. I am a freshman at the University of Arizona, after moving to Tucson from the Central African Republic 4 years ago. I am planning to major in Biology, but was not able to register for any science credits in my first semester, so I was especially fortunate to be offered a paid Internship in Conservation Biology and gain research experience. I am working with Pacifica Sommers, a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who studies the ecological interactions of an introduced grass. So far, I have had the opportunity to participate in several of her experiments: germination experiments in Saguaro National Park   and in the EEB greenhouse, as well as studies on paloverdes’ growth and self-pruning. I have already gained basic research skills including accurately measuring distances, weighing biomass, thinking critically, and making predictions.


Ashley Davis

My name is Ashley Davis and I am a sophomore at the University of Arizona who studies Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Since second semester of my freshman year, I have worked with Pacifica Sommers, an EEB Ph.D. candidate, under the Tindall Conservation Biology Internship. I assisted Pacifica in a greenhouse study on the effects of an invasive grass on native paloverde seedlings. We planted seeds in different combinations at different densities, and measured their growth over two months. I also analyze videos of pocket mice from areas of Saguaro National Park that have been invaded by this grass: to observe what stimulates a “dancing” behavior in the mice, which we think is territorial behavior in response to food, and to determine whether the invasive grass alters this behavior. This internship opportunity has helped me to further my knowledge of ecology and develop my critical thinking skills, which will be useful in future lab and field experiments.