My Story

My path began in Siberia, where I lived for seven years until my family and I immigrated to California. I later meandered back and forth between the United States, Russia, the tropical savannas of northern Australia where I found many birds and a partner, and elsewhere around the world. I came to conservation biology because I believe in the intrinsic value of biodiversity, and I enjoy the logic of science. Conservation biology is a science applied to an ethic, and is both theoretical and practical, analytical and emotional. It is steeped in values, urgency, uncertainty, and controversy. In teaching conservation biology at Warren Wilson College, I aim to empower students to develop their own ethic about biodiversity, and to do science that does good in the world.


  • B.A. in Environmental Studies, Warren Wilson College
  • Ph.D. in Biology, Virginia Tech

Research Interests

  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Wildlife Behavioral Ecology
  • Invasive Species

Courses Taught

  • BIO 3100: Conservation Biology
  • BIO 3180: Ornithology
  • BIO 3480: Animal Behavior

Crews and Other Activities

  • Co-Supervisor of the Conservation Biology Work Crew (a sub-crew of the Biology/Environmental Studies Work Crew)
  • Member of the Bsal Surveillance & Monitoring Working Group
  • Lead of Team Chickadee (a research project with students to study the behavior and conservation of cavity-nesting birds on campus)

Contact Dr. Milenkaya

(828) 771-3904
Morse 206
CPO 6327
PO Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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