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Keystone alumna Anne Castiglioni ’15 began her Keystone College journey in 2010 as a wildlife biology major with a minor in psychology. The hopeful freshman wasn’t sure of what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to do it at Keystone.

“I fell in love with the beautiful campus and knew that was where I belonged.”

Anne studied big cats in Africa

Not long after Anne started at Keystone, she discovered a love for traveling and new cultures and was among the first students in Keystone’s Study Abroad program to visit Africa. The time she spent at the Serengeti National Park in Africa that led to her passion to study animal behavior in the wild.

“Animals just fascinate me,” Anne says. “I think they are often misunderstood. The more we learn about animal behavior, the better we will be able to resolve conflicts between animals and people in more positive ways.”

During her senior year, Anne lived in Los Angeles, Calif. and participated in an internship at the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in Rosamond where she completed data collection and studied the behavior of wild, big cats.

Tanzania, Africa 2012
Photographs by Anne Castiglioni

And hummingbirds in Belize…

While at Keystone, Anne took every advantage to travel and study animal behavior, including extensive wildlife research during a faculty-led trip to Belize where she banded hummingbirds and studied their migration ecology.

Those trips, among others, helped her realize her true desire and pursue a career in conservation biology and wildlife. After graduating from Keystone College in 2015, Anne continued her education and attended the Animal Behavior Society Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. She also spent a month traveling in Alaska, California, and Georgia, before returning to Pennsylvania to study for GRE exams for graduate school.

Operation Rubythroat, Belize

Anne studies primates in a coastal cloud forest of Ecuador, South America.

…and monkeys in South America

While Anne was anxiously awaiting graduate school acceptance, she gained even more field experience, this time traveling to Ecuador, South America, to study primates in a coastal cloud forest. For three months she conducted a population survey of Ecuadorian mantled howler monkeys, tracking troop movements on foot through the jungle and recording behavioral data.

Her field station, a two-hour hike from the nearest village, was an open-air bamboo house with no electricity. Anne fell in love with this lifestyle, and after leaving the jungle and returning home to the United States, she attended Drexel University as a master’s thesis student in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences.

Anne’s experience studying animal behavior has helped turn her childhood passion into a lifelong dream.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding located in Sichuan Province, China.

And finally, pandas in China

Anne’s most recent travels have taken her to China, where she is collaborating with Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding located in Sichuan Province, and the Global Cause Foundation of Washington, D.C. to provide data about a protocol to reintroduce pandas into the wild.

Anne plans to apply to doctorate programs and begin studies in fall 2018. She hopes to continue behavioral endocrinology research with a focus on wildlife stress biology. Her future career goal is to apply her animal behavior research to current wildlife conservation issues and work internationally for non-profit organizations as an expert consultant in the field.