OS Meet the Team!

Olivia Schweikart

Founder, Writer, Media Contributor


Hi! My name is Olivia and I am a graduate student researcher at DePaul University in Chicago in the Aguirre Lab. I launched Compassion Crossing in 2016 as a result of a driven passion for wildlife education and conservation efforts. I hope to see this platform showcase the beautiful creatures that surround us, and the importance of lending a helping hand toward their longevity. In addition, I hope to assist animal owners to ensure their companions have all they need to live enriches and fulfilled lives. To learn more about the research I am working on, and have worked on, you can find my personal portfolio here.

I received dual Bachelor of Science degrees at Auburn University, one in Organismal Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and the next in Animal Sciences. During my undergrad, I minored in Natural Resource Ecology with the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. In my spare time, I assisted in research at the Warner Lab for Evolutionary Ecology looking at patterns of heritability and thermal tolerance in the brown anole Anolis sagrei.

I am currently getting my Master’s Degree in Biological sciences with research focusing on 5 taxonomic freshwater fishes in Western Ecuador. Primarily, I am looking at taxonomic species likely to experiment coastal flooding events due to climate change in the Guayas River Basin. My thesis uses environmental DNA to map distributions of fishes, as well as assesses for differences in population structure at the end extremes of observed elevational clines for each study species. Additionally, I am working to construct a 12s, 16s, and COI genetic reference library for many taxa in Western Ecuador. To find more about my current research, I have a virtual portfolio: click here.


JMIH Annual Conference 2022 Poster Presentation
Spokane, WA

DePaul University Graduate Showcase, 2022
Poster Presentation
Chicago, IL

Professional Memberships

ASIH Liason, 2023

ASIH Book Raffle Sub-Committee

ASIH Workship Sub-Committee Member

Get in touch

Reach out to Olivia by email, oschweik@depaul.edu, or using the social icons below.


The Impact of Temperature Induced Vertebral Anomalies on C-Start Swimming Performance On Temperature Anomalies in Astyanax Mexicanus

Master’s Thesis | DePaul University | 2023

Kaleigh Arnold, Windsor E. Aguirre

Advisement Committee: Terry Grande (Loyola University), Jason Bystriansky (DePaul University)