Sara Bombaci (she/her/hers)

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Biology
Colorado State University
Office: (970) 491-5830

Twitter: @SPBombaci
ResearchGate profile
Google Scholar profile

About me

I conduct research in both conservation biology and social justice, and at the intersection of these two themes. My multidisciplinary research blends conservation science and social science to explore how ecological systems interact with social and environmental gradients in pursuit of innovative solutions to conserve biodiversity while meeting diverse human needs. My work aims to advance conservation science and practice globally, from urban environments in the United States, to the rainforests of New Zealand, and wildlife reserves across Africa. I also prioritize advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM education, and have over a decade of experience conducting research, teaching, and outreach to foster greater equity and inclusion in academia.

Graduate Students

Steller's Jay
Bat Detector Setup

Edder Antunez (he/him)

Edder is interested in utilizing passive acoustic monitoring as a tool to better understand the impacts of anthropogenic noise on wildlife distributions and populations. He aims to use this knowledge to help managers implement measures to promote conservation, create solutions to combat the effects of increased human pressure, and facilitate a connection between people and the natural world.

Tamara Layden (she | they)

Tamara is an Ecology M.S. student in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Department at Colorado State University. Her interests are in elevating Indigenous science, sovereignty, and relational values in environmental policy and action–a passion driven by her lived experience as a descendant of displaced South Asian farmers and land stewards. Through this work, Tamara aims to use her intersectional feminist and trauma-informed lens, coupled with her background in ecological science, program development, and community organizing, to support community-centered conservation. Overall, Tamara aspires to cultivate a broad understanding of wildlife monitoring and ethical participatory methods to increase the accessibility and impact of ecological science for the benefit of wildlife, community, and culture.
Twitter/IG: @TamaraLayden

Jasmine Nelson (She / They)

Jasmine enjoys investigating the acoustic ecology of reptiles, including birds, studying how these animals interact with and respond to sounds within their environments. She is most interested in understanding how anthropogenic noise affects the vocal behavior of reptiles. She also has interest in promoting access to STEM fields and deconstructing barriers to these fields for minoritized communities. She aims to use machine learning to improve the species-level identification methods applied to passive bioacoustic recordings and improve racial and LGBT+ inclusion, representation, and equality in STEM fields through pedagogical research.

Hanna McCaslin (she/her)

Hanna is a PhD candidate in Ecology in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Her research interests are diverse and her dissertation work explores questions spanning migration ecology, urban ecology, and the intersection of ecological research and environmental and social justice. As a quantitive ecologist, she is interested in developing methods that can facilitate the broader application of existing ecological data to explore new questions, from high-resolution tracking data to large-scale crowdsourced biodiversity datasets. Hanna is currently studying how sampling bias in crowdsourced biodiversity data reflects patterns of social inequity and how this limits what our ability to understand and conserve urban biodiversity. Through her research, she strives to challenge ideas that statistics or data can ever be objective, while exploring how they can be tools towards more just, inclusive, and transparent ecological research and conservation.

Trent Pearce (he/him)

Trent is an interdisciplinary M.S. student in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. His interest is rooted in developing better methods for communicating science between historically underrepresented communities and organizations /researchers by utilizing a community-centered approach to content development. He is also interested in developing scalable tools to assess the efficacy of science communication content on social media platforms. These interests were informed by his previous work as an environmental educator and science communicator.

Daniel Briggs

Daniel Briggs is an Ecology M.S. student in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Department at Colorado State University. His interest is utilizing acoustic monitoring methods to better understand the impact that anthropogenic noise has on wildlife populations and how they form a surrounding landscape of fear. His passion for animals started as a youth growing up in the industrial Midwest in Gary, Indiana. Through his work, Daniel aims to hone his research and data analysis skills to pursue conservation work in the government sector. Overall, Daniel aspires to advocate for a world more conducive to wildlife propagation and abundance, and to educate people on the need for a more ecologically literate society to better protect wildlife for generations onward.

Former Graduate Students

Anahita (Ana) Verahrami (she/her/hers)

Current Position: Office of the Dean at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Ana is broadly interested in utilizing passive acoustic monitoring systems to increase our understanding of the complex relationships between anthropogenic disturbances and species’ activities, behaviors, and survival. For her thesis, Ana will investigate forest elephant movement and acoustic activity in relation to gunshot distributions in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the northern Republic of Congo. Ana also has a strong interest in promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within academia and conservation. This interest is grounded in her lived experiences as a Zoroastrian woman, as a member and ally of the LGBTQ+ community, as a person who grapples with mental illness, and in her firm belief that the recognition and equitable inclusion of a diversity of theories, perspectives, and identities will significantly augment scientific comprehension of our world and our capacity to preserve it.

Twitter/Instagram: ana_verahrami


Erin Weingarten (she/her)

Erin is a PhD student in the Graduate Degree Program of Ecology. Erin received her B.S. from Duke University in 2018 in Biology, Evolutionary Anthropology, and Marine Science. She has worked in Panama, Turkey, South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Sumatra, and Hawaii. Her research interests center around human/wildlife coexistence, behavioral ecology and spatial ecology. She is also passionate about technology in conservation and engaging with people through a lens of action oriented, community led, ethical research. Erin is currently working on a project in Botswana to use AI for real time monitoring of African elephants. She is also partaking in efforts with human/wolf coexistence in Colorado as well as human/African wild dog conflicts in Zimbabwe.


Monica Lasky (she/her)

Current position: PhD Student at the University of Florida

Monica is interested in studying anthropogenic effects of wildlife ecology, conservation, and behavior. Monica aspires to develop real-world solutions that inform wildlife management plans, save species from extinction, and influence how people interact with nature.
Twitter: @Monica_Lasky
Personal website: