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).
Arthur Scully: Arthur Scully is working on a project to identify important biotic facets in lynx (Lynx canadensis) niche requirements in the southern portion of their range. As climate change alters the environment, cold dependent species at the southern edge of their ranges will be the first to be impacted. Using camera traps, Arthur is examining interactions between lynx and other mesocarnivores (Canis latrans and Lynx rufus) and creating spatially explicit models to identify critical environmental and biotic predictors for lynx in Washington state.
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.
Travis is studying lynx distribution in Washington for his MS, and will be conducting his PhD on jaguar landscape genetics in Honduras. Travis is also currently completing an analysis of ocelot latrine behavior that he started as an undergraduate at WSU. Click on the links to the left to see some videos of latrine use by ocelots and other carnivores.
Kyle is working with the the Greater sage-grouse population on the Yakima Training Center (YTC). This population has experienced a steady decline in numbers and subsequently a loss of genetic heterogeneity. In an attempt to reverse these trends, biologists at YTC have translocated sage-grouse from surrounding populations. Kyle’s research will analyze fine-scale population vital rates including home range, interseasonal movements, survival, nest propensity, and success between translocated and resident sage-grouse from these augmentations. Furthermore, long-term, post-augmentation population trends will be evaluated to assist in determining the success of these augmentations. With the low success rate (~5%) of past translocations and the potential federal listing of sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) it is vital to gauge whether this method of augmentation is reasonable to achieve desired goals.
Lucy will be studying the impacts of hunting on Neotropical vertebrates. More to come soon…
Landon Charlo is studying use of artificially created snags and gaps by a variety of wildlife species in Everett, Washington. Landon hopes to develop management guidelines to increase the efficacy of the snag creation program.
Katie Van, MS (graduated May 2015): Species distribution modeling of high-elevation pine species to examine potential impacts of climate change.