Wildlife movement, landscape ecology and linear barriers: I am modeling wildlife movement ecology for eight species of special interest in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Specifically, I am developing new approaches to wildlife movement modeling in the face of linear barriers (e.g. roads). I am also building models exploring deer movement ecology and behavior using sub-populations of "urban" deer vs. those that maintain historically migratory behavior.
Anthropogenic landscape features and movement behavior: I am broadly interested in wildlife response to anthropogenic stimuli and resulting changes to behavior. I analyzed a ten-year dataset of puma radio-collar movements, in concert with collected data on human-generated light and noise, to identify perceptual landscape features associated with puma movement behavior.
Species temporal and behavioral interactions: To delve into the proximal mechanisms that may be driving the landscape-of-fear and coexistence we are exploring relationships, across time, between species (e.g. puma, deer, coyote, bobcat, and humans) cohabiting the same geographic area. We are also exploring behaviors between domestic dogs and wild coyote to characterize interspecies interactions at urban-wildland interfaces.
Small mammal genetic isolation and the role of connectivity structures: Assessing landscape-level features that increase connectivity for wildlife is difficult - this is complicated by that it can be difficult to know exactly which landscape features wildlife are using as movement corridors. I am using genetic tools, large highways with variation in connectivity, and small mammal taxa (where small home-range size limits access to the range of connectivity variation) to address this question.
Correlates of mammalian species endangerment: Preserving biological diversity in mammalian fauna is made more difficult by the complexity of behaviors that influence their ability to thrive in changing landscapes. The brain is the seat of information processing, storage and the origination of most behaviors yet the implications of brain measurements have not been explored in conservation biology. I explored the implications of increased relative encephalization (RE; brain size corrected for body size and phylogeny) and have found a relationship between this rapidly measurable and extinction vulnerability both in modern taxa as well as in Carnivores over the prior 40 million years.