I'm a wildlife ecologist interested in determining how behavioral processes such as foraging, movement, habitat selection, and competition scale up to affect the demography and community dynamics of terrestrial vertebrates, especially species with a human-wildlife conflict nexus. The ultimate goal of my research is the determination and adoption of optimal management/conservation decisions that incorporate scientific, monetary, stakeholder, animal welfare, and policy/regulatory considerations.
I conduct research in a variety of systems, but my work predominantly occurs in landscapes utilized and altered by humans and on species and communities that are often in conflict with humans and present wildlife damage concerns. I also strive to incorporate my research findings to management and conservation decision making in a practical, transparent, and tangible manner.
I am currently a Supervisory Research Wildlife Biologist within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). As the NWRC Florida Field Station Leader, my team of dynamic natural resource professionals and I employ observational, experimental, and captive animal/pen wildlife research to come up with robust, common sense solutions to human-wildlife conflict issues. Some specific projects currently underway include determining methods to determine chronological age of black vultures, examining chemical ecology and trailing behavior of invasive reptiles, utilizing black and turkey vulture location data to determine what factors contribute to nocturnal roost site selection of New World vultures, and determining efficacy of lasers as a means to mitigate crop damage.
Prior to joining USDA, I served as a Supervisory Wildlife Biologist within the Migratory Birds Division of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), where I applied the best available science and regulatory obligations to develop solutions for management and conservation challenges involving migratory birds and bald and golden eagles. This work was often accomplished within the context of the Migratory Bird Treaty, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection, Endangered Species, and National Environmental Policy Acts.
Prior to my position with USFWS, I served as a Wildlife Biologist, for the Department of Defense, US Army, at Fort Carson, CO. In this position, I led research and management efforts for aquatic and terrestrial vertebrate species while working collaboratively with military units, other Fort Carson Natural Resources Programs (Forestry, Invasive Species, Wildland Fire), State natural resource management agencies (e.g., Colorado Parks and Wildlife), federal regulatory agencies (e.g., USFWS) and NGOs (e.g., Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory).