Student Highlights: Bridger Sparks


Class:  Senior

Major:  Animal & Veterinary Science

My name is Bridger Sparks. I am a senior at the University of Wyoming studying Animal & Veterinary Sciences, with a concentration in animal biology and a second degree in physiology. I am originally from Grantsville, Utah, but moved to Laramie from the Denver area after working full time for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for about a year and a half.

I am President of the Wyoming Undergraduate Research Coalition, a member of the Queer Community Coalition, and a USDA National Laboratorian Training Program Fellow. Additionally, I am a member of the Endocrine Society, American Physiological Society, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction, among others.

A hog on the current study


My undergraduate research through the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium looks at how type 1 diabetes influences the reproductive health of swine that are just about to enter puberty (peripubertal). Swine are an excellent biomedical model and can help us understand physiological processes in humans. I am specifically looking at how steroid hormones (Testosterone and Estradiol-17b) and cytokines (“immune proteins” specifically Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha) interact in the type 1 diabetic state to better understand the negative health repercussions diabetes can have on reproduction.


Every year, we award fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students attending the University of Wyoming or one of Wyoming’s community colleges in order to provide them with the opportunity to do “real” research. Occasionally, we feature one of these students and their research on this blog. For more information about our student fellowships, visit our College Programs page.