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WNY PRISM is excited to welcome its Special Projects Technicians, Melissa Boglioli, Amanda Gabryszak and Alexander Krest. Melissa has worked with WNY PRISM for the past two years and will continue to use her GIS expertise to create models and maps that give us insight into how to best manage invasive species. Amanda is also returning to WNY PRISM and will survey for early detection species such as slender false brome and Japanese stiltgrass. This is Alex’s first year with us and he will survey for underreported invasive species including yellow flag iris and flowering rush. Read more about each of them below:

Melissa Boglioli, GIS Technician

Melissa Boglioli is a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. She has used GIS to analyze species distribution of gopher tortoises as part of her Master of Science in Zoology and Wildlife Science from Auburn University, as well as in her work doing impact analyses as an Environmental Consultant on Long Island. Melissa has worked as an analyst in the field of GIS for over 9 years in the Buffalo area. She completed a habitat suitability model for slender false brome in 2018, with updates in 2019, that guided efforts to locate and contain the spread of this species on public lands. In 2020, Melissa will work on another habitat suitability model, this time for Japanese stiltgrass. Melissa looks forward to continuing her work to provide more insight into the distribution, habitat suitability and potential pattern of spread for this invasive species.

Amanda Gabryszak, Terrestrial Early Detection Survey Technician

Amanda Gabryszak holds her Master of Science in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF, where she investigated the intersections between wildlife disease, environmental health and communication. She is a NYS licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and Rabies Vector Species Assistant, and currently studies Veterinary Technology at Medaille College in Rochester. Additionally, she recently received her Associate Wildlife Biologist certification from The Wildlife Society. This is her second season as a Survey Technician with WNY PRISM. She also assists with WildCare of WNY, and over the past few years, has worked as a Disease Ecology Project Assistant at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, as a Naturalist at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, and as an Intern Wildlife Rehabber at the Center for Wildlife in Maine. By working for WNY PRISM, Amanda hopes to further her understanding of invasive species’ impacts on ecosystem health. She likes to play guitar, surf, paint and hang out with her dog in her spare time.

Alexander Krest, Aquatic Invasive Species Survey and Monitoring Technician

Alexander Krest is a 2018 graduate of Stetson University’s Bachelor of Science degree program in Environmental Science & Geography with a minor in History. He is a recipient of the Maris Prize for his work with invasive aquatic macrophytes and an honorable mention for the R. Neil Scott Research Prize for his studies on ecosystem restoration. Volunteering his time at places like DeLeon Springs State Park in Florida and with organizations such as the NYS DEC, has provided valuable field experience that lends itself well to many aspects of his position with WNY PRISM. A recent internship with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has also allowed Alexander to delve deeper into environmental issues within the WNY region. Alexander is excited to start this position and cannot wait to continue honing his skills and helping the environment with WNY PRISM this summer.