Sasha Tetzlaff


I joined the Sperry Lab as a Ph.D. student in 2016 and defended my dissertation in 2019. I investigated the effects of environmental enrichment and captive-rearing duration on pre- and post-release growth, behavior, and survival of head-started eastern box turtles for my dissertation work. My fieldwork took place at Fort Custer Training Center in southern Michigan, but I reared the turtles and conducted behavioral assays with them on the UIUC campus. Check out for more info.

I earned a M.S. in Biology from Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2015. For my thesis research, I studied the behavioral and physiological effects of food supplementation on free-ranging male massasauga rattlesnakes in northern Michigan. I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 2011. While an undergraduate, I participated in long-term research projects focusing on gopher tortoise ecology in an urban greenspace and monitoring trends in anuran communities in southwest Florida.


Tetzlaff, S.J., C.J. Robinson, B.A. Kingsbury, J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. In review. Predators may lose interest in turtle acclimation pens: implications for translocations using soft release. Chelonian Conservation and Biology.

Tetzlaff, S.J., D.C. Messmann, J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. In review. An inexpensive box trap with potential to improve welfare of captured herpetofauna. Herpetology Notes.

Carlson, B.E. and S.J. Tetzlaff. Conditionally accepted. Long-term behavioral repeatability in wild adult and captive juvenile turtles (Terrapene carolina): implications for personality development. Ethology.

Tetzlaff, S.J., J.H. Sperry, B.A. Kingsbury, and B.A. DeGregorio. Conditionally accepted. Captive-rearing duration may be more important than environmental enrichment for enhancing turtle head-starting success. Global Ecology and Conservation.

Tetzlaff, S.J. and K.D. Tetzlaff. In press. Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog) Predation. Herpetological Review.

Tetzlaff, S.J., J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. 2019. Effects of antipredator training, environmental enrichment, and soft release on wildlife translocations: a review and meta-analysis. Biological Conservation 236: 324–331.

Tetzlaff, S.J., J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. 2019. Tradeoffs with growth and behavior for captive box turtles head-started with environmental enrichment. Diversity 11: 40 (part of the special issue Advances in the Biology and Conservation of Turtles).

Tetzlaff, S.J., J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. 2018. Attempted depredation of a juvenile Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina (Linnaeus, 1758), by Sandhill Cranes, Antigone canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758). Herpetology Notes 11: 589–591.

Tetzlaff, S.J., J.H. Sperry, and B.A. DeGregorio. 2018. Captive-reared juvenile box turtles innately prefer naturalistic habitat: implications for translocation. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 204: 128–133.

DeGregorio, B.A., M.J. Ravesi, J.H. Sperry, S.J. Tetzlaff, J.M. Josimovich, M. Matthews, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2018. Daily and seasonal activity patterns of the Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus): an automated radio telemetry study. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 13: 10–16.

Hileman, E.T., M.C. Allender, D.R. Bradke, L.J. Faust, J.A. Moore, M.J. Ravesi, and S.J. Tetzlaff. 2018. Estimation of Ophidiomyces prevalence to evaluate snake fungal disease risk. The Journal of Wildlife Management 82: 173–181.

Tetzlaff, S.J., M.J. Ravesi, M.C. Allender, E.T. Carter, B.A. DeGregorio, J.M. Josimovich, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2017. Snake fungal disease affects behavior of free-ranging Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus). Herpetological Conservation and Biology 12: 624–634.

Tetzlaff, S.J., E.T. Carter, B.A. DeGregorio, M.J. Ravesi, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2017. To forage, mate, or thermoregulate: influence of resource manipulation on male rattlesnake behavior. Ecology and Evolution 7: 6606–6613.

Ravesi M.J., S.J. Tetzlaff, M.C. Allender, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2016. Detection of Snake Fungal Disease from a Lampropeltis triangulum (Eastern Milksnake) in northern Michigan. Northeastern Naturalist 23: N18–N21.

Tetzlaff, S.J. and N.G. Schiltz. 2016. Terrapene carolina (Eastern Box Turtle) Scavenging. Herpetological Review 47: 453–454.

Allender, M.C., E.T. Hileman, J.A. Moore, and S.J. Tetzlaff. 2016. Detection of Ophidiomyces, the causative agent of snake fungal disease, in the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) in Michigan. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52: 694–698.

Tetzlaff, S.J., K.E. Tetzlaff, and R.J. Connors. 2016. Evaluation of thermal regimes for transported ambassador ectotherms: one size does not fit all. Zoo Biology 35: 339–345.

Tetzlaff, S.J., M.J. Ravesi, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2016. Sistrurus catenatus (Massasauga) Activity Range Lengths. Herpetological Review 47: 154–155.

Ravesi, M.J., S.J. Tetzlaff, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2016. Sistrurus catenatus (Massasauga) Diet. Herpetological Review 47: 153–154.

Ravesi, M.J., M.J. Forzley, S.J. Tetzlaff, B.A. Kingsbury, and J.M. Parker. 2015. Sistrurus catenatus (Massasauga) Diet. Herpetological Review 46: 453–454.

Ravesi, M.J., S.J. Tetzlaff, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2015. Sistrurus catenatus (Massasauga) Overwintering Site. Herpetological Review 46: 454.

Tetzlaff, S.J. and M.J. Ravesi. 2015. Glyptemys insculpta (Wood Turtle) Mortality. Herpetological Review 46: 243.

Tetzlaff, S.J., M.J. Ravesi, J.M. Parker, M.J. Forzley, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2015. Feeding and breeding: a northern population of Massasauga Rattlesnakes, Sistrurus catenatus (Rafinesque 1818), continues to hunt during the mating season. Herpetology Notes 8: 277–280.

Tetzlaff, S.J., M.C. Allender, M.J. Ravesi, J.A. Smith, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2015. First report of snake fungal disease from Michigan, USA involving Massasaugas, Sistrurus catenatus (Rafinesque 1818). Herpetology Notes 8: 31–33.

Tetzlaff, S.J., M.J. Ravesi, and B.A. Kingsbury. 2014. Sistrurus catenatus catenatus (Eastern Massasauga) Diet. Herpetological Review 45: 712–713.

Tetzlaff, S.J. 2014. Diadophis punctatus (Ring-necked Snake) Diet. Herpetological Review 45: 710.

Tetzlaff, S.J. 2014. Crotalus horridus (Timber Rattlesnake) Habitat Use. Herpetological Review 45: 709.

Tetzlaff, S.J., D.L. Tetzlaff, M. Schoenbeck, and N. Clark. 2014. Agkistrodon piscivorus   conanti (Florida Cottonmouth) Diet and Phenotype. Herpetological Review 45: 511–512