13th June 2016 – Abby Lawson, Clemson University

Abby LawsonI am a fourth-year PhD candidate in the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Clemson University. I am an applied population ecologist, particularly interested in how individual variation can influence population dynamics. For my PhD, I am building a statewide alligator population model to inform management and harvest decisions. My project components include population survey design optimization, evaluating movement patterns with GPS satellite transmitters, investigating longitudinal foraging patterns, and estimating survival from the longest-running crocodilian mark recapture study in the world. I care deeply about crocodilian conservation, and was recently appointed to the IUCN Crocodile Specialists Working Group (CSG).

I was born and raised in southeast Alaska, but despite the magnificent fauna and landscapes that my home state had to offer, I had had enough of the rain and traded in my rain boots for flip flops at the University of California, Davis. After finishing my B.S., I worked as a waterfowl technician in California, Oregon, Montana, and Alaska before beginning my M.S. at the University of Nevada, Reno. For my M.S. I studied life history patterns and in a nestbox population of Common Goldeneyes in Interior Alaska. During my week at the Biotweeps, I’ll share some highlights from my research and provide a peek into the life of a grad student split between the field and the office.

Expect tweets about crocodilian ecology and behavior, human-wildlife conflict, Alaskan waterfowl (including fluffy duckling pictures), statistics, and working with governmental agencies as a graduate student.

To learn more about my research, please follow me on Twitter @AbsLawson or visit my website where I keep a fledgling blog: https://sites.google.com/a/g.clemson.edu/ajlawson/

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