I am the Leader of the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. The single unifying theme of the research in our lab that transcends all projects is that they provide information that contributes to the conservation or management of wildlife species and influences the way species are managed. You can read about research in our lab on the home page and in more detail on the research page.
Current Lab Members
Catherine Sun, Ph.D. Student
Hailing from Delaware, Cat graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2010 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Ecology and Organismic Biology. During her undergraduate career, Cat studied nemertean genomics, assisted in horseshoe crab spawning surveys, and researched the effects of nonnative plants on spider communities. In the summer of 2010, Cat worked as a field research assistant for Delaware State University mist-netting veeries and dissecting their nests for leaf litter decomposition. Cat completed her M.S. at Cornell and is nearing completion of her Ph.D. working on integrated models for black bear management. In her spare time, Cat enjoys watercolors, reading modern philosophy, and adding to her insect collection.
Robert Márquez, Ph.D. Student
Robert Márquez has over 15 years of experience working with the Andean Bear Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). He is currently the project manager for the Andean Bear Conservation Alliance initiative and coordinator of the WCS Colombia Andean Bear Project. He has been involved in Andean bear research and conservation projects in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Robert is interested in facilitating management decision-making by generating information on Andean bear status and threats, as well as generating tools to monitor Andean bear populations and manage interactions between Andean bears and people.
Abraham Francis, M.S. Student
Abraham is working on applied research to develop a biocultural land Stewardship strategy for existing and newly settled Native American Land Claims on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Akwesasne. His research interests include health, education and cultural foundations as a means to empower Indigenous Communities. Abraham has a BS in Microbiology from Cornell. His past experiences include community empowerment, engagement and research with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Santiago García Lloré, Ph.D. Student
Prior to Cornell, Santiago García was the Coordinator for Ecuador and Peru “All eyes on the Amazon Program”, a project led by Hivos and takes place in three countries in South America. Prior to that position, he was the National Forestry Director of the Ministry of the Environment in Ecuador. He holds an MSc in Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University (Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department). His main areas of interest are focusing on sustainable forest management, deforestation & land conversion, human-wildlife conflicts and climate change. In 2015, as part of his thesis, he led research to evaluate the relationship between human and wildlife activities in two rural Kenyan communities: Meibae and Salama. Santiago has 14 years of experience working with local and indigenous communities in South America. Santiago is currently working on spatial risk mapping in Ecuador as a tool to plan and implement human-Andean bear conflict mitigation measures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emJow2_2Si4
Jennifer Price-Tack, Postdoctoral Scientist
Jennifer Price-Tack is a postdoctoral researcher and wildlife ecologist specializing in quantitative ecology and decision support science. She completed her B.S. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, her Masters at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and her Ph.D. at Auburn University. Jennifer has worked on a variety of natural resource problems, including decision-making for deer and hunter management, and bioeconomic modeling impacts of salmon aquaculture in southern Chile. She is currently applying her skills to tackle the issue of spatial optimization of invasive species management in New York State.
Ben Augustine, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ben got his start in graduate school working on a recolonizing black bear population in eastern Kentucky; however, during his Master’s Degree in Forestry at the University of Kentucky, he developed a strong interest in Statistics. After completing a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Statistics, also at the University of Kentucky, he returned to the World of Wildlife and completed a Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. Here, he used his background in Wildlife and Statistics to develop spatially-explicit capture-recapture models that allow for partial individual identities, as opposed to the complete individual identities typically required in capture-recapture models. Ben is currently working to promote these spatial partial identity models (SPIMs) and is developing new versions that will allow for the estimation of parameters such as population density and growth rate of species for which it is difficult to determine individual identities from noninvasive sampling methods such as camera traps, genetic sampling, and bioacoustics sampling.
Jennifer Brazeal, Postdoctoral Sceintist
Jennifer Brazeal is a postdoctoral researcher currently working on developing occupancy and spatial capture-recapture models to estimate occurrence and densities of various carnivores throughout the state of New York, particularly marten and fisher. In general, her research interests include the development and application of quantitative methods to survey and monitor wildlife populations for management and conservation purposes. She received her PhD from University of California, Davis, where much of her research focused on the use of non-invasive genetic sampling and spatial capture-recapture models to estimate density and abundance of cervid populations in California.
Kelly Perkins, Research Support Specialist
Kelly provides general research support for the NY Coop Unit since July 2016. Prior to this she worked as a zoologist for the New York Natural Heritage Program conducting surveys, managing data, and studying rare species in New York state. She attended the University of Delaware (B.S. wildlife conservation ’02) and West Virginia University (M.S. wildlife resources ’06). She also spent time as a seasonal technician for several research and government institutions studying birds and other wildlife. She has a background in ornithology, bat biology and acoustics, and wildlife inventory and habitat associations spanning many taxa. Her interests include wildlife research, data manipulation, and statistics.
Former Lab Members
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University
Current Position – Statistician, NOAA Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region
Current Position – Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University
Current Position – Senior Scientist, Conservation Programs – Defenders of Wildlife
Current Position – Ph.D. Student – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut
Current Position – Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Current Position – Progressive Insurance, Data Analyst II
Current Position – New Mexico Environment Department