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Alumni Spotlight: Clay Green

Dr. Clay Green, (Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, 2003). Associate Professor of Biology at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Dr. Clay Green wakes up excited to spend his days teaching and learning about wildlife biology at Texas State University in San Marcos, where he serves as Associate Professor of Biology. He credits UL Lafayette for helping him realize his career goals and for introducing him to his wife Susan (Michele) Salter Green, M.S. '01.

Clay took an uncommon route to becoming a biologist. After earning his bachelor's degree from University of Texas, Austin in Soviet and East European Studies and spending four years in the United States Navy, he decided to return to his first love of being outdoors which led him to pursue a master's degree in Range and Wildlife Management from Sul Ross State University, and then to UL Lafayette for his doctoral degree in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology.

At UL Lafayette, Clay was able to hone his research interests and set a path for a prolific academic career. He's published scores of papers focused on the ecology of birds and mammals with a particular emphasis on the ecology and conservation of water birds. His relationships at UL Lafayette with faculty, especially Dr. Paul Leberg, and with other graduate students, provided a unique and supportive learning environment. These have served him throughout his career in research collaborations and in other endeavors. Clay said that the UL Lafayette Biology Department's  close proximity to, and collaborative relationship with state and federal wildlife agencies continues to provide opportunities for students to learn from professionals in the field and complements the work of the faculty in the classroom. He also appreciated the diversity of research interests in UL Lafayette's faculty. He said each faculty member he worked with brought a different perspective to his dissertation, which forced him to think more broadly — an experience that continues to influence his teaching and research career.

Overall, Clay fondly remembers his days at UL Lafayette and in Acadiana. He loved the people, music, food and festivals — and is delighted to give back to the place that gave him so much. He recently was honored to come back to campus and give a seminar to current students. He said, "it was a homecoming for me".