Current Graduate Students
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.
Sarah Ramirez (MS)
“Home Range Size and Habitat Use of Ferruginous Hawks in Western Wyoming”
I am a Master’s student in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. My research interests include wildlife-human conflicts, investigating understudied species, and collaborative conservation. My graduate research is investigating nesting selection and habitat use of the Ferruginous Hawk before large-scale energy development, with the ultimate goal of developing mitigation measures to combat the detrimental effects development has on this species during the breeding season.
Moe Uili (MS)
“Using acoustic surveys to evaluate the abundance and distribution of manumea, a critically endangered Samoan pigeon”
I am a Fulbright MS student in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. I hail from Samoa, a small island in the heart of Polynesia. My graduate research is focused on assessing the abundance, distribution and breeding success of the critically endangered Tooth-billed Pigeon or Manumea, a critically endangered bird endemic to the Samoan islands. I aim to closely engage local communities in every aspect of the work to strengthen long term stakeholder support, maintain community sense of ownership of local natural resources management and promote the recognition of science and traditional knowledge in decision making for threatened and endangered species and ecosystem protection. The knowledge and skills gained as an outcome of this work will be used to help establish a long term monitoring protocol for Tooth-billed Pigeon conservation.
Carolyn Coyle (Ph.D.)
I am an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and PhD student in the department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. My interests include avian conservation, landscape ecology, ecosystem services, and community outreach through citizen science. My graduate research will focus on the role that opportunistically nectivorous, migratory passerines may play in maintaining plant diversity through incidental pollination along migration routes. Through my PhD, I will utilize novel eDNA techniques in order to identify floral visitors, as well as identify pollen collected from birds and bees. By working towards the formative documentation of passerine pollination networks in North America, I seek to understand the distances that birds transport pollen to inform conservation efforts in this era of widespread pollinator declines.
Cozette Romero (M.S.)
“Effects of introduced rats on island forest birds: demography, health and trophic cascades”
I am a master’s student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. I am interested in investigating responses of avian populations in response to various management methods, increasing efficacy of restoration efforts, and advancing science to inform conservation policy and practice. I have a strong interest in Hawaiian ecosystems and avifauna and my graduate research will be focused around assessing the impact of invasive rat control on the demography and conservation of native forest birds on Kauaʻi island, Hawaiʻi. While doing so, I aim to promote and sustain both the natural and cultural heritage of the islands.
Kathleen Urchek (M.S.)
I am a Master’s student in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. My interests broadly include conservation ecology, human-wildlife conflicts, and threatened and endangered species research. My graduate research will focus on behavior and movement patterns of sandhill cranes and whooping cranes in airfields, and examine how a non-lethal chemical repellent may alter crane ecology in these habitats. With this research I hope to contribute to the reduction of human-wildlife conflicts and enhance overall management strategies for birds in airport spaces.
Miranda Middleton (M.S.)
I am a master’s student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. I am interested in studying human-wildlife conflict especially regarding the avian community. My project will involve working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Bird Conservancy of the Rockies to study the effects of human development and activity along Colorado’s northern Front Range on the Bald Eagle. I hope to use this research to aid in developing management plans as well as connecting the community to their local wildlife.
Teia Schweizer (M.S.)
I am a Master’s student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. My research interests include evolutionary ecology, conservation genomics, environmental DNA, restoration ecology, island ecology, human-wildlife interactions, mental illness activism, and animal welfare. As a field technician in Hawai’i, I fell in love with conservation while researching and restoring habitat for the critically endangered bird, the Kiwikiu, on Maui island. Over 250,000 native plant species have been planted in a natural area reserve called Nakula in an effort to support native bird populations, in particular the Kiwikiu. My thesis will assess how habitat restoration impacts distribution and occupancy of native and non-native avian communities. I hope my work will inform future restoration efforts and the likelihood that these efforts can support species in dire need.