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Professional Appointments

Assistant Professor

          University of Houston

          Department of Biology and Biochemistry

          January 2023 - present

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Utah State University

Dr. Molly Womack

April 2021 - December 2022

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Northeastern University Marine Science Center

Dr. Katie Lotterhos and Dr. Geoff Trussell

Research Coordinated Network for Evolution in Changing Seas

May 2019 - April 2021


Post-doctoral Research Fellow

East Carolina University

Dr. Michael McCoy (Now at Florida Atlantic University)

August 2018 - May 2019



PhD  Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences - 2018

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Advisor: Dr. Michael W. McCoy


MS  Biology - 2011

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Advisor: Dr. Heather Vance-Chalcraft

BS   Biology and American Studies - 2007

University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia


*** I can provide free copies of all these papers. Please e-mail me at malbecker (at) gmail (dot) com for a free copy ***


  Undergraduate researcher

14. Albecker, M.A., Strobel, S.M., Womack, M.C. (In review at Integrative and Comparative Biology)

          Developmental plasticity in anurans: Meta-analysis reveals effects of larval environments on metamorphosis timing and body size

13. Albecker, M.A., McCoy, M.W. (In revision at Conservation Physiology)

          Responses to saltwater exposure vary across species, populations, and life-stages in anuran amphibians

12. McCoy, M.W., Hamman, E.L., Albecker, M.A.Wojdak, J., Vonesh, J.R.Bolker, B. 2022

          Incorporating nonlinearity with generalized functional responses to simulate multiple predator effects.

          PeerJ. 10:e13920

11. Albecker, M.A., Trussell, G.C., Lotterhos, K.E. 2022. 

A novel quantitative approach for co-gradient variation and countergradient variation.

Ecology Letters. 25, 6: 1521-1533.


10. Lotterhos, K.E., Albecker, M.A., Trussell, G.C. 2021. Evolution in Changing Seas.         

Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, Biology. Editorial for Special Issue on Evolution in Changing Seas.


9. Albecker, M.A.* Wilkins, L.*, Krueger-Hadfield, S.A., Bashevkin, S., Sewell, M.A., Hare, M., Hahn, M., Lotterhos, K.E., Kindsvater, H., & Reitzel, A. 2021.

Does a complex life cycle promote or constrain adaptation to environmental change? Genome-informed approaches and insights for characterizing selection across stages of a life cycle.

Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, Biology. Special Issue on Evolution in Changing Seas.  288: 20212122.

*Co-first authors   


8. Albecker, M.A., Stuckert, A.M.M., Balakrishnan, C.N., McCoy, M.W.  2021. 

Molecular mechanisms of local adaptation for salt‐tolerance in a treefrog.

Molecular Ecology.

7. Albecker, M.A., Pahl, M., Smith, M.†, Wilson, J.G., McCoy, M.W. 2020.

Influence of density and salinity on larval development of salt-adapted and salt-naïve frog populations. 

Ecology and Evolution.

6. Walker, D.M., M.A. Albecker, M.W. McCoy, C. Camp, C. Kelehear, B. Edelbrock, J. Wooten, J. Rheubert, S.P. Graham. 2019.

Evolution of the skin and gut microbiome of the Woodland Salamander species complex.

Microbial Ecology


5. Albecker, M.A. and McCoy, M.W. 2019Local adaptation for enhanced salt tolerance reduces non-adaptive plasticity caused by osmotic   stress. 



4. Albecker, M.A., M.W. McCoy, L.K. Belden. 2018.

Comparative Analysis of Anuran Amphibian Skin Microbiomes in Inland and Coastal Wetlands. 

Microbial Ecology.

3. Albecker, M.A., Brantley, W.B., and McCoy, M.W. 2018.

Habitat salinity alters dietary content and nematode infection in the American Green Treefrog, Hyla cinerea.

Southeastern Naturalist. 17(1); 155-165.


2. Albecker, M.A. and M.W. McCoy. 2017.

Adaptive responses to salinity stress across multiple life stages in Anuran Amphibians. 

Frontiers in Zoology.

1. Albecker M.A., Vance-Chalcraft H.D. 2015. 

Mismatched anti-predator behavioral responses in predator-naïve larval anurans.


MANUSCRIPts in prep 

McCoy, M.W., Hamman, E.H., Albecker, M.A., Wodjak, J.M, Vonesh, J.R. Bolker, B.M.

Size matters when predicting multiple predator effects.

In Revision at PeerJ.


Albecker, M.A., McCoy, M.W., Peniston, J. Barfield, M., R.D. Holt.

Adaptation to environmental change in organisms with complex life cycles: The influence of stage-specific selection and density dependence. In prep. Target: American Naturalist

AWARDS & GRANTs         

10.    National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: 2017

Awarded $19,175.00

9.     Ecology Society of America Aquatic Section Travel Award: 2017

Awarded $200.00

8.     Pitt County Wildlife Club Scholarship: 2016

Awarded $1,500.00

7.     Graduate Women in Science Nell Mondy Fellowship: Leaping Salt Barriers: salinity tolerance in salt-exposed frogs. 2016

Awarded $6,321.00

6.     Garden Club of America Scholarship: Mechanisms of salinity tolerance in locally adapted coastal frogs. 2016.

Awarded $5,000.00

5.     Coastal Maritime Council Research Grant: The effects of salt on reproductive decisions of Hyla cinerea. 2014

Awarded $1,000.00                                     

4.     North Carolina Sea Grant: Impacts of sea-level rise on coastal freshwater wetland communities. 2013

Co-P.I. with M. McCoy (P.I.).

Awarded $76,415.0       

3.     Explorer’s Club Grant: Exploring the physiological constraints of coastal amphibians to adapt to rising sea level. 2013       

Awarded $2,500.00       

2.     North Carolina Herpetological Society Grant: Salt life- The effects of sea level rise on freshwater animal communities. 2013

Awarded $780.00

1.     Martha N. Jones Scholarship 2011

Awarded $500.00



Instructor of Record:

Biology 1100 - Principles of Biology I 

Fall 2017*, Spring 2018

*Used flipped classroom instructional strategy


Biology 2250 – Ecology - Instructor of Record

Fall 2015

Teaching Assistant:

Biology 1201 – Principles of Biology II Laboratory 

Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011 

Generalized Linear Modeling Workshop Instructor - Northeastern University Three Seas Program

Spring 2020 - Virtual Teaching 

Statistics Tutor  - Math 245

Fall 2020 - Remote Teaching 




Lab Assistants:

Sarah Gill - Thesis: Osmoregulatory Adaptations of Hyla cinerea Found in Increasingly Saline Coastal Waters

* Recipient of ECU's Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award

Ben Brantley - Thesis: Diet and Nematode Infection Differ Between Coastal and Inland Populations of Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea)

* Published in Southeastern Naturalist

Hannah Bergman 

Anisah Nwokolo

Matt Pahl - Project investigating interacting effects of density and salt exposure on frog development 

Melissa Smith - Project investigating interacting effects of density and salt exposure on frog development 

Jefferson Gray Wilson - Project investigating interacting effects of density and salt exposure on frog development 

* Matt, Melissa, and Jefferson's work published in Ecology and Evolution


Field Assistants: 

Tara McFarland (current: Veterinarian)

Chris Thaxton (former Knauss fellow)

Other Mentoring:

Graduate Committee Member for ECU master's student 2020-2021

Ecological Society of America SEEDS mentor - 2017

Mentor for Northeastern University's BEACHES program - 2019 (Demystifying graduate school application process)



2022 • Invited Seminar: University of Houston, Houston Texas

2022 • Invited Seminar: University of North Florida seminar, Jacksonville, Florida

2021 • Invited Seminar: Northeastern University Marine Science Center seminar series, Boston

2021 • American Society of Naturalists: Virtual Asilomar 2021

2020 • Invited Department of Biology Seminar: Vassar College, NY (*Postponed due to Covid-19)

2019 • Invited Ecology and Evolution Seminar: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

2018 • Invited EEBio Seminar: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

2017 • Research in Progress Seminar: East Carolina University

2017 • Ecological Society of America annual conference: Portland, Oregon

2017 • Research and Creative Week: East Carolina University

* Winner – Best Presentation for Doctoral Oral Natural Sciences

​2016 • Three-minute Thesis competition: East Carolina University


​2016 • American Naturalist Annual Meeting: Asilomar, California 

​2015 • Ecological Society of America annual conference: Baltimore, Maryland       



Graduate Education Day - Raleigh Legislative Building - May 2017

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual conference – January 2015

Atlantic and Estuarine Research Society Spring Meeting - March 2015 

Climate Change Symposium hosted by NC State and NOAA – March 2014

Sea Grant Poster Reception – September 2014

Sea Grant Funded Research Symposium – April 2014


The American Society of Naturalists

Ecological Society of America

Graduate Women in Science (Founding Member)

Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology

North Carolina Herpetological Society

The Coastal Society (2013-2018)

ECU Biology Graduate Student Association (2013-2018)



Peer Reviewer: Global Change Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Ecology and Evolution, Biotropica, Oecologia, Behavioral Ecology, Ecological Entomology,                    Scientific Reports, Journal of Herpetology, Evolutionary Applications, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Microbial Ecology

2021 - Co-Editor for Proceeding of Royal Society Biology Special Issue on Evolution in Changing Seas

2020 - 2021- Diversity and Inclusion Committee member for RCN-ECS (2020-2021)

2020 - 2021 - Coordinator of Research Coordinated Network for Evolution in Changing Seas Coordinated Readings Discussion series (2020-2021)

2020 - Research Coordinated Network Diversity and Inclusion Committee

2018 - Panelist: Graduate Student Funding Workshop 

2016 - Graduate Student Representative -- Founding Eastern NC Chapter of Graduate Women in Science

2016 - Panelist: Graduate Student Funding Workshop 

2015 – Vice President -- Biology Graduate Student Association

2014 – Treasurer -- Biology Graduate Student Association                                      

2014-2016 – Invite-A-Scientist – Bayboro Middle School

2013-2017 - SciRen Teaching Network contributor/presenter                                  


National Parks Service with University of Delaware

Crew Leader                    

  • In continuation of a long term study on breeding bird populations in parks around Washington D.C., I led a small crew to complete over 1350 avian point counts in 10 national parks

  • April 2013-August 2013

  • Findings of that study


Bat Conservation International

Crew Leader                   

  • I led the crew for a Bat Conservation Int'l experiment that investigated the effects of curtailing wind turbines on bat and bird mortality

  • August 2012-December 2012

  • Findings of that study

NC State University

Lead Field Technician

  • I led the fieldwork at the Georgia site for an NCSU research project that evaluated the avian and arthropod response to various woody biomass-harvesting guidelines

  • April 2012 - July 2012

  • Findings of that study


Dr. Dave Chalcraft, Principal Investigator, East Carolina University

​Research Technician                                  

  • Assisted with the setup, maintenance, and breakdown of large-scale mesocosm experiment that examined at the effects of predator diversity on amphibian larvae

  • Summers 2010 and 2011​


Hazelwild Farm and Equestrian Center

​Assistant Manager of Boarding Barn

  • Provided general horse care for thoroughbred horse barns (turn outs, cleaning, feeding, etc.)

  • December 2008 – August 2009


Virginia Safari Park and Preservation Center

​Lead Keeper of Reptiles and “Lower Village”                  

  • Supervised husbandry for wildlife including reptiles, amphibians, birds, primates, and mammals

  • August 2007 – April 2008

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park

Reptile/Amphibian/Fish (Ectotherm) Intern

  • Trained to uphold AZA standards for reptile, amphibian, invertebrate, and fish collections

  • Summer 2007





 2014 - OuterBanks Triathlon Olympic Distance (2:41.41 -- 9th female, 42/221 finishers) 

 2016 - OuterBanks Triathlon Olympic Distance (2:48.41 -- 4th female, 19/190 finishers) 

 2016 - Washington Triathlon Olympic Distance (2:47:14 -- 12/55 females, 39/118 finishers)

 2016 - Shamrock Marathon (3:38.56 -- 69/822 females, 290/1841 finishers) (miserable nor'easter!)

 2016 - Marine Corps Marathon (3:44.31 -- 312/? females, 1461/? finishers)

 2017 - Shamrock Marathon (**BQ!** 3:30.31, 24/608 females, 167/1356 finishers) (another miserable nor'easter!)

 2017 - North Face Endurance Challenge 50k (5:21.30 -- 7/142 Females, 46/391 finishers)

 2017 - Medoc Mountain Trail Marathon (4:14.32 -- 24/124 finishers)

 2017 - JFK 50 mile Ultramarathon (9:51.08 -- 64/223 Females, 259/750 finishers)

 2018 - Boston Marathon! (4:04.50 -- Worst weather in 30 years! Battled IT-band issues for 5 months prior to race)

 2018 - OuterBanks Marathon (3:48.05 -- 6/181 Females, 71/427 finishers) (perfect weather)

**long race pause due to baby (x2) and pandemic**




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