Silas was born in Chapel Hill NC and lived briefly in Salt Lake City UT, and the majority of his schooling occurred in Charlottesville, VA. From a very young age, he developed a passion for working with animals, and throughout his childhood he took every opportunity to do just that. One of the most noteworthy of these experiences was a summer college course that Silas took at Cornell University exploring veterinary medicine from a conservation perspective. During this course, he was introduced to the concept of One Health and began looking for opportunities in which he could learn more about this topic. This led directly to the another significant experience working at Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary in Nelson County, VA. At this sanctuary, he took care of diverse native species of central Virginia from song birds to gray foxes, and through this forum learned first hand about interactions between expanding human development and local wildlife. While working at the sanctuary, his interest in working with animals became a career goal and led him to apply into the Wildlife Conservation Major at Virginia Tech.
Since arriving at Virginia Tech, Silas has continued seeking out opportunities to work with animals and has become very interested in research. He’s volunteered in several labs to help with collecting camera trapping data and assisting with data entry. In a study abroad class to Ecuador in the summer of 2018, he studied the response to different forms of disturbance in common tropical monkeys, and he now works in the Hopkins lab and intends to begin the fledge program in the following semesters.