Research

Spatially Predicting the Impact of Artificial Night Light and Noise on Wildlife Habitat Across the United States

Work for my PhD at Boise State University uses a functional sensory ecology approach to study the effects humans have on wildlife. Specifically, I am developing spatial indices of risk to anthropogenic noise and light pollution to aid management of mammals and birds with conservation significance and to identify vulnerable habitat corridors. This research is funded through NASA and is in collaboration with the National Park Service.

Understanding Local Perceptions and Beliefs of Biodiversity in Madre de Dios, Peru

I am interested in cultural differences in perception of biodiversity and how varying stakeholders and persons value biodiversity, wildlife, and nature in general. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a lucrative, if not always formalized, industry in Madre de Dios, Peru. I believe it is very important to understand what local residents believe about wildlife and their values on biodiversity and conservation. By understanding this emic point of view, better and more locally relevant conservation plans can be put into action.

Potential Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining on Biodiversity in Madre de Dios, Peru

I studied artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. ASGM activities have been expanding in Madre de Dios despite attempts to limit them. This region of the world is a biodiversity hotspot and home to Manu National Park, Tambopata National Reserve, as well as significant human diversity, including tribes in voluntary isolation. My work identified biodiverse areas that may be vulnerable to mercury pollution from ASGM and are currently be prepared for publication.

Photograph of artisanal mining in Peru

Gold mining in the Madre de Dios Region of Peru

Photo of Amazon river with dense forest around it
Photograph of silhouette of sifaka in spiny forest
Photograph of river in Madagascar with green vegetation around it

Past Primatology Research

I previously studied primate diet and ecology. After graduating with my BSc, I studied factors affecting primate diet and how primates select their diet. Past work included:

Sex differences in the diet of sifakas

For my master's thesis, I studied diet composition of males in comparison to lactating females in Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi) at Berenty Private Reserve in Madagascar with Dr. Lisa Gould. I identified differences diet and behavior between male and female sifakas during the early lactation period.

Variables affecting orangutan feeding tree revisitation rates

I examined variables affecting feeding tree revisitation rates in wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) with Dr. Erin Vogel of Rutgers University. Orangutans have large ranges and consume hundreds of plant species. By studying when and why orangutans return to certain feeding trees and not others, we may be able to improve conservation practices and further understand how orangutans survive in a complex habitat. The results of this research were presented at the 2014 American Society of Primatology annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Seasonal variation in the diet of titi monkeys

Working with Dr. Kimberly Dingess, we examined differences in the diet composition of the Bolivian titi monkey (Callicebus donacophilus) in relation to seasonality. These results were presented at the 2014 International Primatological Society's meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2014.