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Dr. Michele Losee

Executive Director, International Raptor & Falconry Center, USA

Project: Habitat Characteristics and Nesting Ecology of Arizona’s Golden Eagle

Our project aims to ascertain factors related to successful nesting and potential reasons for the high number of early nest failures of Golden Eagles in Arizona. We adopt a multi-scale approach and use Random Forests to develop models to explore the scale of effects at which landscape features such as vegetation, topography, human development, and climate best predict habitat suitability and productivity of the Golden Eagles.

This is Dexter, our Golden Eagle friend. He is 10 years old.

Violeta López-Márquez

PhD Student, National Museum of Natural Sciences - Spanish National Research Council (MNCN-CSIC), Spain

Project: Genetic Structure and Connectivity in Mediterranean Marine Invertebrates 

The aim of this project is to analyze the patterns of population structure and connectivity, and to detect potential barriers to dispersion among populations of several coastal marine invertebrate species distributed in the Mediterranean Sea, including a top-shell snail (Gibbula divaricata), a vermetid (Dendropoma lebeche), and an endangered coral (Cladocora caespitosa). We apply a seascape genetics framework to evaluate the effects of oceanographic properties such as sea currents, salinity, and sea surface temperature on gene flow. Understanding the biotic and abiotic factors and processes that shape connectivity among populations is of paramount importance to address effective long-term conservation and management strategies.

Violeta collecting samples under the Mediterranean Sea.

Caroline Charão Sartor

PhD Student, PPG Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil

Project: Landscape Genetics of Small Neotropical Felids in South America

Our project aims to understand the ecological processes that govern gene flow in small neotropical cats across the South American continent. We adopt a landscape genetics approach to understand how landscape features influence genetic connectivity, and use Random Forests to develop habitat selection models for the focal species. Our results provide critical knowledge in determining core areas and corridors to inform conservation management.

Guoliang Pan

PhD Candidate, Center for Social Evolution, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Project: Spatial ecology and conservation genetics of snow leopard in northern Xinjiang, China

We investigate the influence of anthropogenic disturbances, such as roads, settlements, hunting practices and livestock, on the distribution pattern, population structure and abundance of the vulnerable snow leopard. Using scat samples, we characterize genetic diversity and gene flow of snow leopard populations in the Altay region, and develop spatially-explicit predictive models to correlate environmental factors with snow leopard habitats in this zone.

Shahid A. Dar

PhD Student, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India

Project: Spatial ecology, genetics and conservation of Himalayan brown bears in Western Himalaya, India

Our project aims to analyze species-habitat relationships by using multi-scale optimized species distribution models. We analyze patterns of population structure, connectivity and gene flow and identify environmental variables that influence population structure, connectivity and gene flow of brown bears in Western Himalaya of India. We apply approaches of landscape ecology and genetics to develop successful long-term conservation and management strategies for Himalayan brown bears in India.

Dr. Kimberly Craighead

President and Co-Founder, Kaminando - Habitat Connectivity Initiative, USA

Project: Conservation of large carnivores in Panamá

Understanding how habitat preferences of large carnivores shift across scales in a mosaic of human-altered and naturally occurring land cover is pivotal for characterizing the complexities of habitat selection. We applied a multi-scale approach using Random Forests to develop seasonal habitat suitability models by determining the predictor variables and associated scales influencing jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) habitat selection in Panamá.

Ta-Ken Huang

PhD Candidate, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, USA

Project: Telecoupled ecosystem services provided by Black-faced spoonbill in Asia

Environmental disruption in one location can ricochet across space, impacting human well-being in other locations. For example, land use change in one part of Taiwan may cause population loss of Black-faced spoonbill in Korea. These distant connections are called telecoupling. We use the spatial subsidies approach to quantify how the benefits a migratory species provides in one area is dependent on habitat in distant locations, often across jurisdictional and political boundaries.

Dr. Di Yang   [website]

Postdoc, Department of Geography, University of Montana, USA

Project: CitizenScaping - Exploring New Linkages Between People and Pixel

Our project combines citizen science, volunteered geographic mapping (VGM), and remote sensing to spatial analyze global environmental change. Citizen science links together social sciences with physical sciences, which leads to innovative research directions, such as mapping human footprints at the regional scale, disaster management, and answering complex coupled human and environmental system questions.

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This is Clementina - named by generous donors Avi & Brenda Messeri.

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