Annabella Helman


Zionsville, IN

Academic Interests

Biology (BS) - Animal Behavior Concentration, Environmental Science (BS), and Neuroscience (MIN)

My family is from South Africa and I grew up visiting this country known for its commitment to conservation. Because of the impact these visits had on me, I am very interested in studying wildlife. I wish to communicate environmental and navigate change in local and global communities. I strive to build a circle of cognizance so that wild creatures and their habitats become an essential part of our awareness and that humans change their perception of the animal kingdom.

At Duke, I am a member of Dr. Stuart Pimm’s lab working with my peers on various projects concerning wildlife corridors to aid endangered populations specifically in South America. I am also a Technician Assistant at the Duke Lemur Center where I assist full time Technicians with various tasks including diet preparation, cleaning, development and distribution of enrichment items, behavioral observations and daily upkeep of the facility.

 I have also been a temporary member of the Wildlife Habitat and Population Analysis Lab at Virginia Tech over the summer. I am researching scavenging habits of black bear, coyote, and bobcats in the Jefferson National Forest as well as assisting Dr. Marcella J Kelly in black bear trapping and monitoring.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I love the growing community we have of STEM oriented minds. I always look forward to our meetings as we cover a range of topics within the STEM world as well as the importance of mental health and wellbeing. SPIRE has created a soft place to fall for me within the greater Duke community, but also a launching pad for new ideas and support for research endeavors.

Annabella Helman.
Annabella Helman