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My name is Ryan Wagner. I am a wildlife biologist, photographer, and science journalist. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. at Washington State University under Dr. Jonah Piovia-Scott. I earned my B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Ohio University and my M.S. from Ohio State University under Dr. Bill Peterman


My research interests focus on the ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. I have pursued these interests in a number of ways, including studying the impacts of a newly constructed bypass on eastern box turtles, underpass-use by amphibians,  salamander chronic stress, hellbender population status, and snake road mortality. For my master's degree at OSU, I studied a population of common mudpuppy salamanders (Necturus maculosus) impacted by the chemical lampricide TFM. This chemical is used to control the invasive Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and is highly toxic to native fish, invertebrate, and amphibian species. I used mark-recapture, eDNA, and population viability analysis to inform best management practices for mudpuppies in the Great Lakes. 


For my Ph.D., I combine field work and statistical modeling to support the conservation and management of remnant Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) populations in northern California’s Lassen Region. I am studying the effects of disease, climate, and fire on frog population status. I will be implementing in situ disease treatments and developing conservation and management plans for this imperilled frog.

Photography & Journalism

I tell stories about the intimate relationship between humans and the natural environment. These relationships are sometimes symbiotic, other times tenuous. I seek to capture images and write stories that reveal these everyday but often overlooked connections between humans and the world around us. My work has appeared in the California Academy of Science's Big Picture Competition and the Guardian.

Follow me on social media @ryanbwagner

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