Lab News

Welcome to the Russell Lab web site. This page provides news about our recent activities. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please use the links on the left.

Lab paper: Incorporating spatial scale improves habitat predictions of elephants

posted Sep 10, 2014, 9:58 AM by Andrew Mashintonio   [ updated Sep 10, 2014, 10:00 AM ]

Andrew Mashintonio and Gareth Russell, along with lab collaborators Stuart Pimm, Grant Harris and Rudi van Aarde, have published a paper entitled "Data-driven discovery of the spatial scales of habitat choice by elephants" in PeerJ. In this paper we introduce a new method to identify the spatial scales at which elephants select habitat.  We use fitted parameter estimates of landscape variables to create preference maps of the landscape. We compared these maps to maps created using variables at only the source data (i.e., a single scale). Using this method provides conservationists and managers with a more accurate assessment of the habitat preferences of target species.

Paper on large animal census design

posted Dec 18, 2013, 2:11 PM by Gareth Russell

Just published in PeerJ: a paper led by friend-of-the-lab Grant Harris on the most efficient way to census the population abundance of large animals. The paper uses Brown Bears on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska as a model system. Simulations of bear distributions and movements, combined with different trap-sample layouts, showed that trapping based on known habitat preferences (such as, for bears, anadromous streams) sampled (and, most importantly, re-sampled) a greater proportion of the population with less effort than a grid-based system, producing more precise indices of abundance.

PeerJ publications are free for all! Get it here.

Our research featured on WAMC's "Academic Minute"

posted Oct 21, 2013, 5:18 AM by Gareth Russell

Our research on new metrics for linking fragmentation to extinction risk was summarized (briefly) on WAMC's "Academic Minute" segment, which aired live on October 18th but is available for posterity here:

Sabbatical at Microsoft Research (Cambridge, UK)

posted Oct 9, 2013, 7:20 AM by Gareth Russell   [ updated Oct 9, 2013, 7:32 AM ]

As of September, myself, Kimberly and our boys are in Cambridge for Gareth's sabbatical. I'm spending most of the time at Microsoft Research, which is a very stimulating place to be. I could tell you what I'm up to, but then they'd have to kill me... (Seriously, I signed an NDA and everything.)

But you can read about the activities of the group I'm in here:

Last week I went down to UCL to visit Kate Jones and give a one-hour 'Introduction to all of statistics' for the group of Masters ('MRes') students she supervises. I had to talk very fast! But actually, what I was mainly doing was providing a guide to the set of self-teaching modules I developed, and which are on this very site and open for anyone to use.

I'll post info about various projects as time allows.



posted Aug 27, 2013, 12:27 AM by Gareth Russell   [ updated Sep 12, 2013, 5:03 AM by Jessica Schnell ]

On August 21, Gareth gave an invited presentation at INTECOL 2013 in London, at a symposium organized by his sabbatical hosts Microsoft Research. The symposium was titled: "Not just for geeks: broadening scope and participation in predictive ecology," and Gareth's talk, which wrapped up the session, was "Inspiring and training the next generation of mathematical and
computational ecologists."

ICCB 2013

posted Aug 7, 2013, 8:04 PM by Sarah Kornbluth   [ updated Aug 7, 2013, 8:27 PM ]

Good times (and presentations) were had by all!

ICCB 2013 - Society for Conservation Biology

posted Jul 24, 2013, 1:12 AM by Jessica Schnell   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 4:05 AM ]

The Russell lab is presenting at the July 21-25, 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology conference in Baltimore, MD, USA.

  • Automated identification of bees and dragonflies
Nidhi Dharithreesan, NJIT; William Kuhn, Rutgers University; Gareth Russell, NJIT; Kimberly Russell, NJIT

  • An underwater, camera-based, automatic identification system for coral reef fish: a prototype of a continuous monitoring network for reef populations
Gareth Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Joseph Wilder, Rutgers University

  • Native bees and large-scale organic farming: Are sufficient pollination services provided?
Sarah Kornbluth, Rutgers University; Kimberly Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Gareth Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Novel use of identification of individuals to model small-scale movements and habitat selection of endangered baleen whales in the Gulf of Maine
Tanya Lubansky, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Gareth Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Incorporating scale in habitat preference models improves prediction maps for elephants
Andrew Mashintonio, Rutgers University; Gareth Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Integrated Vegetation Management in Powerline Rights-of-way Provides Quality Habitat for Native Bees
Kimberly Russell, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Sarah Kornbluth, Rutgers University

Field course

posted Jun 5, 2013, 8:53 AM by Jessica Schnell   [ updated Jun 5, 2013, 10:48 AM by Nidhi Dharithreesan ]

Nidhi and Laura attended a Wildlife Field Course in Vermont, from May 19-June 1, 2013, where they had the opportunity to meet and learn from experts involved with telemetry studies, bird surveying, habitat mapping, wildlife management, and more!

New Lab Paper in PLoS ONE

posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:21 AM by Jessica Schnell   [ updated Jun 3, 2013, 6:24 AM ]

Kimberly and Tanya are "Moving the Edge"

posted Apr 29, 2013, 8:04 AM by Gareth Russell   [ updated Apr 29, 2013, 8:05 AM ]

Both Kimberly and Tanya have been featured in NJIT's 2013 Annual Report. Kimberly is seen here working with undergraduate Kayla Drobnis, who has been assisting her in her research on the impacts of different powerline management strategies on native bee species diversity.

Click here to see the whole document, with write-ups about both Kim and Tanya.

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