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Goldberg Lab Spatial Ecology and Conservation Genetics

Principal Investigator

 

 

 

CAREN S. GOLDBERG

Caren is an assistant professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University. She trained as a field biologist and started applying genetic techniques after earning her MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Arizona. She worked on modeling landscape change, habitat, and gene flow of amphibians for her PhD in Fish and Wildlife Resources at the University of Idaho. Caren’s current research focuses on developing and applying environmental DNA techniques to detect species of management concern and modeling connectivity for amphibians using landscape genomics.

Google scholar profile

Publons

Courses taught:

SOE 318 Wildlife Genetics (next offered Spring 2021)

SOE 446 Wildlife Habitat Ecology (Fall course)

SOE 548 Applied Spatial Ecology (offered Spring 2020)

 

 

Lab members

 

 

MEGHAN PARSLEY

Meghan started as a PhD student in School of the Environment in the fall of 2017. She received her BS in wildlife science from the Ohio State University and her MS in biology from Western Kentucky University. Previously, Meghan has studied evolutionary genetics of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders and adaptive genetic variation in California tiger salamanders. For her PhD, Meghan is working on  landscape genomics of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, hybridization between barred and Sonoran tiger salamanders, and developing eDNA methods to further understand population demographics. Meghan led on a paper with an amazing team from the 2018 Landscape Genetics Distributed Graduate Seminar analyzing gene flow of Arizona treefrogs that has now been published in Landscape Ecology! You can check out the paper here and her Google Scholar profile here.

 

 

KELSEY MARSHALL

Kelsey joined the lab in Fall 2018 to pursue her MS degree in Natural Resources. For her thesis project, she is using visual encounter surveys and environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling to determine the distribution of amphibians of conservation concern on Jackson Demonstration State Forest in California. She is interested in the utility of eDNA methods for the conservation of aquatic species.

 

ALEXANDRA KAHLER

Alex is joining the lab in Fall 2019 and returning to WSU after having earned her BS in earth and environmental science to pursue her MS degree in natural resources. She has completed her pilot study here on her project developing eDNA detection methods for Smooth-coated otters in Goa, India. With the success of her pilot study, she aims to map the distribution of Smooth-coated otters throughout Goa, India using eDNA. However, the pandemic has temporarily delayed this goal. She is currently working on a project to understand eDNA detection and ecological responses of beaver used in stream restorations in Washington.  Generally, Alex is interested in the use of eDNA to monitor rare and elusive mammals.

 

ANDREA ADAMS

Andrea joined the lab as a postdoctoral researcher in summer 2020. She earned her PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation research examined the decline and extirpation of the foothill yellow-legged frog in southern California through contemporary and historical perspectives. Currently, her work is focused on reintroduction feasibility studies for the foothill yellow-legged frog, which combine eDNA methods with habitat suitability assessment. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify populations and areas with high restoration potential and establish best practices for reintroductions. Read more about Andrea’s fantastic research on her Google Scholar profile.

MITCH RALSON

Mitch joined the Goldberg Lab during Spring 2020 to pursue a M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences. In collaboration with natural resource managers, he is conducting eDNA-based surveys to identify the distributions of three threatened amphibian species along the central Californian coast. He is also assisting with the development of genetic methods to distinguish between native, hybrid, and introduced tiger salamanders in southern Arizona. Mitch is excited to continue amphibian eDNA research with the Goldberg Lab and to contribute to the conservation of aquatic ecosystems and the species within them.

 

MARY STERLING

Mary graduated from University of Idaho with a BS in Wildlife Management. She leads the labwork on all our contract projects and keeps everything in the lab working great in addition to enjoying running, camping, and being a mom.

Our awesome lab alumni

 
COLLEEN KAMOROFF

Colleen finished her M.S. in the School of the Environment in Fall 2016. For her thesis, she worked on adapting environmental DNA (eDNA) methods to be used in lake restoration projects across the Sierra Nevada in California. Specifically, she addressed the issue of discerning live from dead specimen detections using eDNA techniques. Colleen is currently working for Yosemite National Park as a Wildlife Biologist. You can find Colleen’s work here in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms and in Freshwater Science and Limnology.

MATTHEW M. SMITH

Matt earned his M.S. in the School of the Environment in Spring 2017. His work focused on investigating detection and occupancy of Columbia spotted frogs across the Great Basin using eDNA and field sampling in a multi-scale and multi-species modeling framework. During his time at WSU, Matt also developed eDNA assays for California tiger salamanders and western pond turtles. Matt is working on his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. You can find Matt’s great eDNA work accounting for false positives and false negatives for Columbia spotted frog detection in Ecography here.

 

MALLORY BEDWELL

Mallory earned her M.S. in the School of the Environment in Spring 2018. Her project focused on using non-invasive genetic methods to understand populations and inform management decisions. She used environmental DNA (eDNA) to create a sampling protocol for Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs and foothill yellow-legged frogs in Plumas National Forest in California. Mallory also used eDNA to check historical records of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog below their elevation range. Mallory now works as an Environmental Scientist for the California Department of Water Resources. The first part of Mallory’s work has been published in Ecology & Evolution. Mallory’s website: https://mebedwell.wixsite.com/froglog