Our Team

Owner David Mifsud

David Mifsud “Turtle Dave” is a certified professional wetland scientist through the International Society of Wetland Scientists, a certified professional ecologist through the Ecological Society of America, and Certified professional Wildlife Biologist through the Wildlife Society. He has worked for over 20 years in wildlife biology, wetland ecology, and habitat conservation and management, with an emphasis on herpetofauna. He is an authority in Michigan on conservation and management of amphibians and reptiles.

Learn More About Dave

Aidan Navarre

Aidan Navarre is a graduate of Central Michigan University and was a member of the Applied Technology in Conservation Genetics Lab. Aidan has conducted undergraduate research pertaining to camera trapping and animal behavior studies of White-tailed Deer. In addition, Aidan was a receiver of the 2020 Michigan Sea Grant Internship in which he developed maps of habitat suitability for rare herpetofauna of Michigan utilizing land cover data and species’ occurrences with the MaxEnt modelling software. As a wildlife biologist and field lead for HRM, Aidan has extensive experience in herpetological field surveys, geospatial information systems (GIS), and animal husbandry. Aidan seeks to further his career through continued involvement with HRM as well as through a GIS focused graduate program in the future.

Melissa Sano

Melissa has been a part of HRM’s team since 2018. She is HRM’s Senior Manager and Human Resources Specialist  she assists with general operations, animals care, and field surveys. She is formally a zookeeper at Potter Park Zoo, and  Supervisor at Emergent Biosolutions. She has a Bachelors in Zoology from Michigan State University and a Masters in Conservation Biology from Prescott University.

Sam Lisak

Sam is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he completed his Master of Science. His research focused on assessing the impact of a railway on the mammalian community of the Terai Arc Landscape in western Nepal. He graduated from Kenyon College with Biology and Environmental Studies majors. Sam has previous experiences with radio telemetry, camera trapping, as well as herpetological and mammalian field surveys. Sam hopes to further his goals of becoming a Wildlife Biologist through his work at HRM.

Autumn Baker

Autumn Baker is our social media coordinator. She has had a love and fascination for amphibians and reptiles since childhood. When she is not working as a veterinary assistant at a busy clinic in Central Michigan, she enjoys time in nature. In her spare time, she volunteers with several Michigan conservation organizations including Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, Little Forks Conservancy, Michigan Nature Association, the Vernal Pool Patrol and of course the Michigan Herp Atlas.

Zac Wigington

Zac has recently graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Growing up in central Ohio, he spent a lot of time as a teenager outdoors and was able to travel around the country camping, hiking, and backpacking. This is where he fell in love with wildlife, specifically reptiles and amphibians. Zac’s love for reptiles has allowed him to work with Lake Erie Water Snakes for a genomics project conducted by a Master’s student at Ohio University. He hopes to continue working in the field with herpetofauna and contribute to conservation efforts.