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Brad Bott and Brian Tanis


Brad Bott and Brian Tanis are graduate assistants in the biology department at Fort Hays State University. Their home away from home is Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

Bott has completed the first year of his two-year assistantship, while Tanis completes his assistantship this month. Bott is an entomology assistant, while Tanis is a mammalogy assistant.

While Bott was born in Salina and moved to Kansas City, Kan., as a child, Tanis is from Oakland, N.J. Bott got his undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University, while Tanis went to school in Pennsylvania and had a professor recommend FHSU for his graduate work.

Bott is researching dung beetles. He said he wasn't always a bug guy.

"I didn't always know it was going to be bugs," Bott said of his field of study. "I always thought it was going to be snakes and lizards. But I fell in love (with insects as an) undergraduate."

Tanis is researching scavenger activity, such as coyotes, at wind turbines.

"Lot of people think the turbines, they're killing birds and bats, maybe shifting (scavenger) occupancy patterns," said Tanis, adding it's too soon to draw a conclusion.