Kelsey Schwenk

Masters Student

Office: Young 229


Morty Ortega

B.S. in Wildlife Conservation, University of Delaware 2014
B.S. in Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware 2014

Research Interests:
As a wildlife biologist, I am intrigued by human-wildlife interactions, particularly how human development, habitat fragmentation and urbanization of natural landscapes affect the diversity and size of medium-sized mammalian populations.  

My master's work at the University of Connecticut will broadly investigate mesopredators, Lyme disease, and trophic cascades in Connecticut forests.  Field research will focus on measuring the abundance of medium-sized mammals, using remote sensing cameras, within exurban and suburban field sites.  Additionally, I will utilize previously collected data on mammal abundance in these sites to determine if there is a relationship between overall mammal diversity and the prevalence of black-legged ticks (a vector for Lyme disease) to contribute to a larger project focusing on Lyme disease in Connecticut.

Although my undergraduate and graduate work is focused on North American species, I am very interested in wildlife conservation on a global scale and how policies vary across different parts of the world. I have spent time in Tanzania, Cambodia, and Vietnam exploring wildlife conservation from a more local standpoint and hope to travel in the future to broaden my perspectives on this topic.