Small mammals at the urban interface 

 Northern short-tail shrew (Blarina brevicauda)


                                 (Peromyscus spp.)

My research centers on the distribution and abundance of small mammals in areas of urban development in Maine. Students at Colby College and I have been sampling housing developments, golf courses, land trusts, airports, and nature preserves to assess whether there is a difference in abundance and distribution of small mammals in areas under anthropogenic influence. Since trapping began in July 2006, we have noticed a more diverse assemblage of species in southern Maine (Topsham), whereas the Colby College campus abounds in mice (e.g., deer and white-footed). More recently, students have been pit-tagging species on campus to  better understand the abundance of small mammals. Current trapping at the Robert LaFleur airport in Waterville, ME suggests that this area is predominately inhabited by meadow voles. Colby undergraduates and I will be using genetic analysis (e.g., salivary amylase, PCR, restriction digest techniques) to verify field identification of Peromyscus sp. We intend to continue molecular analysis of blood and tissue during the late fall-winter months at Colby College. Future research may elucidate patterns in bot fly infestation in Peromyscus and Microtus in Maine.


Northern flying squirrel

(Glaucomys sabrinus)


Meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

Rose Becker and Claire Thompson weighing Peromyscus in the field.

September 2006

                   The small mammal team!

                    (right to left) Rose, Katie Renwick, Claire, Ola Sadanowicz

Katie and Ola checking the pit-tag ID number.



         Ola collecting saliva in a capillary tube                                                          from a meadow vole.




    Ola and Genni getting the saliva ready in the wells.





                                        Katie blotting saliva onto the acetate gel.    



Gel success 02/23/07!! Mostly white-footed mice on this set of Lincoln Green housing development rodents.



Katie, Ola, & Genni's poster for the Sigma-Xi conference at Cornell University April 21, 2007.


 Crowds are starting to gather for the poster session.



 Katie, Ola, & Genni at our terrific poster!



 Ola, Katie, & Genni in a human-size bird nest in downtown Ithaca, NY.





The budding researchers at a gorge in Ithaca, NY.