Ms. Erika Bendick
Academic Department: Biology
Graduation Year: 2012
Erika Bendick, who was a Biology/Environmental Science major, researched the ecological interactions among predators, prey and plants. She and fellow biology senior Phillip Harchack focused on milkweed bugs, which store distasteful chemicals from milkweed seeds as a defense against predators. Erika and Phillip attempted to figure out if there was an advantage provided to bugs feeding on one milkweed species over another. Dr. Lane Loya, Associate Professor of Biology, advised the project. During her junior year, Erika also completed research as part of the Immersion Semester program at the Raystown Field Station. Erika and her team investigated the relationship between white-tailed deer populations and the water chemistry of five local natural springs.
Outside of the classroom, Erika was also actively involved in the community. During the Summer of 2011, she interned at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center at Penn State, where she worked to educate the general public on a range of conservation issues. She also volunteered with the Raptor Center at Shaver's Creek to conduct programs that promoted the understanding and value of birds of prey. Following her time at SFU, Erika plans to continue her education in the field of Conservation Biology and has applied to graduate programs at schools such as University of Maine and the University of Montana. Erika is the daughter of Sheri and David Bendick of Port Matilda, PA.