Current Graduate Students

Kiloaulani (Kilo) Kaawa-Gonzales (M.S.)

“Advancing the science and practice of conserving Hihiwai on Molokai: using biology and traditional ecological knowledge to identify and overcome threats to an endemic snail”

I am an MS student in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Being from the small Hawaiian island of Molokai, my interests include native plant and animal conservation, invasive species, and active community engagement. My professional experiences with the Nature Conservancy, USDA, US Forest Service, and the Molokai Land Trust have focused on issues at the interface of these three topics. I am also extremely interested in developing methods to integrate traditional ecological knowledge into quantitative research design. My graduate research will investigate the population status and factors affecting the abundance of hihiwai, a native gastropod, on the North Shore of Molokai, Hawaii. I plan to collect biological field data as well as using traditional ecological knowledge to help sustain and recover this endemic species in partnership with the Molokai community.

 

Kristin Davis (Ph.D.)

“spatial and temporal trends in invasive songbird abundance in relation to land cover change”

I am a graduate student in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. I am most interested in understanding drivers of avian species’ abundance and distribution, landscape ecology, citizen science, and research with direct application to conservation and management. I will be working on two main projects during my PhD – 1) evaluating ecological attributes and outcomes of habitat exchanges, a type of market-based program for mitigating negative impacts (e.g., from extractive activities, military training) on species of conservation concern by offsetting those impacts on private lands; and 2) quantifying trends in invasive songbird abundance in relation to land cover change. I hope to use knowledge gained from these projects to inform and advance conservation science and practice.