Anna Vallery is our new Conservation Specialist at Houston Audubon. She will be working as the sanctuary manager for the two northern sanctuaries, Winters Bayou and Damuth. She will also be working in the Natives Nursery at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary and closely with the Bird Friendly Communities program.
Anna comes to Houston Audubon while finishing up her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She worked at the Environmental Institute of Houston for as a research assistant during her time at UHCL, working on studies regarding Bottlenose Dolphins, Diamondback Terrapin, Saltmarsh Topminnow, biological monitoring, water quality testing, and other aspects of coastal ecology. Her thesis was on foraging substrate preferences of shorebirds and wading birds in Bastrop Bay, as well as developing a protocol for using drones to survey these species of birds in intertidal ecosystems.
Anna was born in San Antonio and lived there until her family moved to Vicenza, Italy when she was 11 years old. She attended middle and high school in Vicenza. She attended the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Biology with an emphasis on Animal Behavior.
Since then, Anna has worked as an animal trainer for shows at both Seaworld and the Columbus Zoo. She also worked as an intern for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for 6 months, assisting with refuge conservation efforts and as a field technician for several studies on Laysan and Black-footed Albatross as well as several tern and Shearwater species that nest on the islands within the atoll.
When not busy with finishing up her thesis and learning all there is to know at Houston Audubon, Anna will be spending time with her two rescue mutts and propagating house plants at her home in La Porte. She also loves to travel, and participate in all the outdoor activities possible, like kayaking, hiking, and biking.
Anna is excited to have the opportunity to work with the staff and volunteers at Houston Audubon on the huge variety of exciting projects!