Current Lab Members

Nancy Strever

Lab Manager and Lead Researcher

Nancy is a senior Animal Studies and Biology double major with a minor in Marine Science. Nancy’s interest in animal research was sparked by her pets, a love of travel, and working as a veterinary technician. While at Eckerd, Nancy has completed a Zoo Research Fellowship and a Behavioral Research Internship at ZooTampa where she studied primate behavior. Nancy has also studied lemur foraging cognition and serves as the Director of Pet Life at Eckerd. Nancy is using her MAB Dog project as an undergraduate senior thesis project at Eckerd. Nancy hopes to study animal behavior and cognition in the future through graduate school!

Gracie barrentine

 Lead Researcher 

Hi everyone! My name is Gracie Barrentine. I plan on double majoring with Animal Studies and Psychology with a possible minor in theatre. I've always grown up loving animals and I would love to work and train with rehabilitated animals. Marine mammals have a special place in my heart, and I've recently been interested in the conservation of the Northern White Rhinos species. I've volunteered and worked at the Tarpon Springs Aquarium and Clearwater Marine Aquarium and I want to continue learning about conservation efforts and the rehabilitation of animals with focus on marine mammals!

Maddie Enman

 Research Assistant and Social Media Coordinator 

Maddie is a double major in both Marine Biology and Animal Studies. She grew up in Chicago surrounded by cats, dogs, guinea pigs- you name it! This past summer, she spent most of her time volunteering at the Riemann Aquarium in Milwaukee working with the sturgeons. Maddie recently started up as a volunteer at Mote Aquarium. After she graduates, she hopes to attend graduate school and then work within the marine rescue and rehabilitation field, eventually working in higher education. 

Cassidy Taylor

Lead Researcher 

My name is Cassidy Taylor and I am an Animal studies and Human Development double major! I have always had a passion for helping animals and an interest in studying human-animal interactions! I have been working as the project lead for the Zoo Tampa Orangutan Project for the past 2 years and have a growing interest in studying other primates. I am honored to be a member of the ECCPL for the past 2 years and I am excited for the many future projects to come!


Lead Researcher

Hi, I am Allison and I am a double major in animal studies and biology. I am from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and animals have always been a large part of my life. I spent four years volunteering at the Pittsburgh National Aviary. I look forward to gaining more research experience from working with the Comparative Psychology Lab, and plan to use these skills in my future career paths. 

Kaylee O'Bryan

 Research Assistant 

Kaylee is a double major in Animal Studies and Psychology and will be graduating in May of 2024. Kaylee has always had a strong passion for the well-being of animals being most interested in dogs, manatees, big cats, and primates. While working with dogs most of her life and fostering and training two Doberman youths this past summer, she became highly intrigued about their behaviors and cognitive abilities. Since being at Eckerd, Kaylee has been involved with the Frick Animal Behavior Lab, collecting and studying research data on dolphins at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. After graduation, Kaylee would like to continue her education and become a Veterinarian Technician with a focus on working with Zoo animals.

Ansley Bossart

 Research Assistant   

Ansley is majoring in Animal Studies with minors in Marine Science and Spanish. She is passionate about animals and conservation and desires to pursue a career in animal care and rescue and rehabilitation. She is currently on the Parrot Cognition project with Apollo the African grey. She has her snake, Sammy, with her here at Eckerd. Ansley is grateful and excited to be joining the lab!

Chloe Shuskey

 Research Assistant  

Chloe is a double major in Animal Studies and Theatre and is also double minoring in Chemistry and Marine Science. She is from Western, New York where she found her love for animals through the various pets, farms, and wildlife in the area. Chloe has always had a passion for animals and wants to continue researching their behavior, abilities, and voicing for their welfare and conservation after college. She has experience training various animals, working with shelter and farm animals, and can’t wait to continue gaining experience through the rest of her career. Her dream research involves animals and their relationships to music. Chloe is very excited to join the lab and further her career goals and experiences. 

Disclaimer: All images depicting our lab members in animal interactions were conducted in well-managed facilities with no signs of mistreatment or stress and were opt-in interactions where the animals could disengage at any moment