Wildlife Spatial Ecology

Understanding drivers of space use patterns in terrestrial systems is critical to conservation planning and management. Current research emphasizes exploration of the impacts of human landscape alterations and ecological dynamics to migration, home range use patterns, and resource selection processes.

Impacts of human caused mortality on elephant population processes

Rampant ivory trade is having a devastating impacts on wild populations of elephants. We are exploring the demographic and behavioral repercussions of this anthropogenic mortality source. We hope to gain better understanding of the resilience of social animals to such mortality surges and how they respond and recover from human caused social disruption.

Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife

Domestic energy development is increasing rapidly across the U.S. driving major changes in landscapes and their wildlife.  The Piceance basin is one of the largest global energy reserves and is experiencing rapid alteration due to natural gas extraction. We are studying behavioral responses of mule deer to this development by detailed analysis of space use and fitness metrics.

Drivers of Social Complexity

Evolutionary drivers of sociality and their interface with the ecological processes individuals experience result in a dizzying array of social organizations and dynamics. Through comparing social aspects of two, highly social species (African and Asian elephants), we hope to determine critical drivers of social complexity.

Influence of Anthropogenic sound sources on wildlife populations

Human sound sources inundate most natural systems, yet the impact of human noise on wildlife are poorly characterized. We are developing novel tools to explore the sounds-scape experienced by animals and quantify their behavioral reactions to the sounds they encounter.
 Mule deer wearing sound recording collar

Landscape Planning for Wildlife

Rapid land use change is severely impacting natural system. We are applying techniques from movement and population ecology to predict impacts of landscape alterations on wildlife populations and using these results to provide inform and shape development planning.