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/

11th April 2016 – Asia Murphy, Virginia Tech

Asia MurphyI starting my PhD at Pennsylvania State University in Fall 2016, to work on the one species I swore I would never work on: white-tailed deer. Luckily, the project is focused on figuring out how carnivore presence on the landscape influences their mortality, so the ‘deerness’ is diluted.
My true interests lie in tropical rainforests and studying the population ecology and interspecific interactions of understudied species that can be camera-trapped. My Master’s research was a data hotdog, taken from the dregs of a PhD student’s project in Madagascar, and focused on lemurs, small mammals, ground-dwelling birds, and the largest native carnivore in Madagascar: the fosa. Madagascar remains close to my heart, and I hope to go back one day to put GPS collars on fosa to study their movements across the landscape (and to touch one in the wild).
Above all, I love being anatiala or inside the forest. Field work was and remains my draw to wildlife conservation.
If you want more information about what I do and what I’ve done, check out my website: anatiala.com
If you want to follow my constant tweeting and retweeting, follow me @am_anatiala

June 29th 2015 – Achaz von Hardenberg, Alpine Wildlife Research Centre, Gran Paradiso National Park

Achaz HardenbergI am a wildlife ecologist in charge of research and conservation projects for the Alpine Wildlife Research Centre of the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy and I serve also as a lecturer in Ecological Data Management and Analysis at the University of Turin. My research interests are widespread encompassing long term studies in evolutionary population ecology and demographics and the effects of climate change on population dynamics and life history, as well as molecular ecology, conservation biology and behavioural ecology. Besides a strong research program based on long term field studies of individually tagged animals (I contributed to start and currently maintain two successful long term research programs on Alpine ibex and on Alpine marmots), I have a strong interest in the development and application of novel statistical modelling methods in ecology and evolutionary biology for which I mostly use the open source statistical environment R and JAGS/WinBUGS. Recently I started also to work on phylogenetic comparative methods, and in particular on the development of both frequentist and Bayesian methods for path analysis and structural equation models with non-independent observations due to phylogenetic relatedness among species. 

During my Biotweeps week I plan tweet about all the above mentioned topics but I hope also to be able to do some live reporting from the field from our breathtaking study sites in the Gran Paradiso National Park (@PNGranParadiso)!  

You can find me on Google Scholar , ResearchGate and, of course, on Twitter: @achazhardenberg. Occasionally I also post on my not very active blog: www.causalecology.net