Students interested in joining the lab should send a letter of interest to Dr. Thornton (email@example.com), outlining your research interests and goals. Please also include a CV with relevant information (e.g., GPA/GRE scores).
Meghan is using newly developed field and statistical techniques to assess mule and white-tailed deer density and habitat use in Colville National Forest (northeastern Washington) using camera traps. Results from this work will be used to inform forest management practices in Colville National Forest, develop large-scale/long-term monitoring techniques for deer in heavily forested environments, and test hypotheses regarding niche segregation of mule and white-tailed deer.
Peter Olsoy: Peter Olsoy is working on a PhD project using remote sensing and GIS to examine the scales that wildlife select and use habitat. Evaluating habitat quality, and predicting the consequences of habitat change, requires identifying habitat features that influence risks of starvation and predation. He is using terrestrial LiDAR and unmanned aerial vehicles to map structural and dietary quality of sagebrush habitat for pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) and sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Further analysis of animal movement will explore how scale influences selection.
Lucy is examining the impacts of hunting on Neotropical carnivores and other mammals in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of northern Guatemala. Lucy is also using camera traps to generate indices of large mammal community health at large-scales, which can be linked to disturbances like land cover and hunting. Lucy is collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society to implement her research.
Travis King: Travis is studying lynx (and other carnivore) distribution in Washington for his MS, using a large-scale camera array consisting of over 700 camera stations and covering 7000 square kilometers in north-central Washington. Travis will be employing occupancy models to examine lynx distribution and environmental drivers of occupancy. Travis is collaborating with Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Fish and Wildlife, and US Forest Service to implement his work.
Landon Charlo is studying use of artificially created snags and gaps by a variety of wildlife species in Everett, Washington, including pileated woodpeckers and terrestrial mammals. Landon hopes to develop management guidelines to increase the efficacy of a snag creation program being implemented by Snohomish County PUD.
Michelle is studying the influence of puma carcasses on nutrient cycling in the Grand Tetons, as part of work conducted with the Panthera Teton Cougar Project. Michelle may also examine recent harvest of puma across the western states.
Paul is studying snowshoe hare densities in several areas of central and western Washington. Paul is testing various techniques for determining hare densities, including camera-traps, pellet counts, and live-trapping. Paul will take data on hare density and occupancy and link that data to remotely sensed LIDAR images to try and generate landscape scale predictive models of abundance.
Katie Van, MS (graduated May 2015): Thesis title: Species distribution modeling of high-elevation pine species to examine potential impacts of climate change.
Arthur Scully, MS (graduated May 2016): Thesis title: Influence of biotic interactions on Canada lynx distribution along their southern range edge.
Kyle Ebenhoch, MS (graduated Fall 2017): Thesis title: Comparing population vital rates of resident and translocated greater sage-grouse on the Yakima Training Center, Yakima, WA.