Department of Biology & Earth Science
Dr. Grooms is broadly trained as a zoologist and wildlife biologist, whose interests range from conservation social science, animal behavior, science communication, and pedagogy. He uses mixed methods approaches, intensive collaborations, and interdisciplinary work to improve future conservation efforts for birds, insects, and other taxa, explore how human and animal behavior impact conservation, and to develop effective strategies to engage and communicate with the public about wildlife.
Dr. Grooms joined the Zoo and Conservation Science Program in 2022 after earning his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech, where his research explored how to work with and engage wildlife recreationists (e.g., birders, wildlife viewers, etc.) in conservation. As a new faculty member, he is busy developing an active research agenda focused on exploring the interfaces of human and animal behavior, improving ex-situ and in-situ conservation efforts, and building effective and creative strategies for science communication and pedagogy. He teaches courses in Animal Behavior, Introduction to Zoo and Conservation Science, Animal Welfare and Operant Conditioning, Zoo Management and Conservation Engagement, and Conservation Biology.
Outside of his teaching and research, Dr. Grooms is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys spending his free time outside hiking, searching for birds, insects, and plants, gardening, and running.