Lab retreat 2014

Lab retreat 2014

Laura Prugh, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology

lp with stella.jpg

Research interests:  multi-species conservation and management, population and community dynamics, ecological restoration, conservation of fragmented populations, noninvasive genetics


  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California Berkeley
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of British Columbia
  • PhD (2005), University of British Columbia
  • BA (1996), Earlham College



Taylor Ganz, PhD Student


Research Interests: multi-species ecology and conservation science, particularly as relevant to public lands management in the American West. 

Thesis: Wolf-Ungulate interactions in Washington State

Funding: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


  • BA Physics (2009), Lewis and Clark College
  • BS Mechanical Engineering (2010), The University of Southern California
  • MESc (2017), The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

email | past research website

Kate Orlofsky, MSc Student


Research Interests: Carnivore Ecology, Interspecific Interactions, Conservation Biology, Wildlife Management, Behavioral Ecology, Non-invasive Monitoring Approaches, Predator-Prey Dynamics

Education: BSc (2012), Cornell University, Animal Science and Biology

Funding: National Science Foundation


Kelly Williams, Genetics Lab Manager

Research Interests: Molecular detection of invasive species using environmental DNA in water; noninvasive genetic approaches for species, sex, and individual identification


  • MSc (2016), Colorado State University, Ecology (focus in Fish, Wildlife, & Cons Bio)
  • BSc (2013), Niagara University, Biology (focus in Environmental Studies)


Kaija Klauder, MSc Student

Research interests: Terrestrial carnivore ecology and behavior with a focus on trophic relationships and interspecificinteractions; carnivore conservation and management including human dimensions and science communication; non-invasive monitoring techniques.

Thesis: Scavenging dynamics and habitat use of wolves and mesocarnivores in Denali National Park.

Funding: National Park Service

Education: BA in Human Ecology (2011), College of the Atlantic


Mitch Parsons, MSc Student

Research Interests:

Thesis: Trophic relationships of reintroduced fishers in the South Cascades

EducationBSc (2015), University of Idaho

Funding: McIntire-Stennis program (USDA)


Mira Sytsma, MSc Student

Research Interests: Modeling, quantifying, and understanding changes in terrestrial wildlife activity and occupancy in response to human interactions, climate change, and succession due to deglaciation. 

Thesis: Impacts of tour boat shore excursions on terrestrial wildlife in Glacier Bay National Park

EducationBS Environmental Science (2014) University of Oregon

Funding: National Park Service


Madelon van de Kerk, Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a wildlife and conservation ecologist interested in the use of quantitative methods to understand population dynamics and the ecological processes and patterns driving them. I am currently involved in the NASA Arctic and Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), for which I aim to assess alpine ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change using Dall sheep as an indicator species.



  • PhD (2016), University of Florida
  • MSc (2009), Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
  • BSc (2007), Utrecht University (Netherlands)

Funding: NASA ABoVE

Nicolas Deguines, Postdoctoral Researcher


I am an ecologist with special concern for conservation biology, and my research interest is in understanding how global changes affect the functioning of biological diversity. I am currently involved in the Carrizo Plain Ecosystem Project (, investigating how the dynamics of grassland ecosystems are shaped by biological trophic and non-trophic interactions and influenced by multiple environmental changes (climate, species invasions, grazing). 

website | email


  • Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Associate, National Museum of Natural History, Paris France
  • PhD (2013), National Museum of Natural History, Paris France

Funding: National Science Foundation (DEB)

Peter Mahoney, Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a conservation ecologist with a keen interest in research pertaining to animal movement and space use, particularly as they relate to multi-species interactions and predator-prey processes.  I am currently a researcher with the Animals on the Move team, a NASA-funded ABoVE collaboration, where we are tasked with developing insights into how climate change and variability (past and future) will influence movements and space use in arctic and boreal forest vertebrates, such as Dall sheep, moose, wolves, and brown bears.

website | email


  • PhD, Ecology (2016) Utah State University
  • MSc, Wildlife Sciences (2011) Auburn University
  • BA, Biology (2001) New College of Florida

Funding: NASA ABoVE

Jiake Zhou, PhD student (UAF)


Research Interests: How climate change affects adaptive capacity of communities through changes in landscape and interactions of plants and wildlife.

EducationBS in Resource Conservation, University of Montana

Dissertation: Climate-induced changes to shrub and moose distributions in northern Alaska: implications for subsistence communities



Lab Alumni

Bridget Borg, PhD (2015)

Wildlife Biologist, Denali National Park and Preserve

Dissertation: Effects of harvest on wolf social structure, population dyamics, and viewing opportunities in national parks



Casey Pozzanghera, MSc (2015)

Golden Eagle Research Associate, Boise State University

Thesis: Non-invasive methods for obtaining occupancy probabilities and density estimates of interior Alaska's mesocarinvore populations


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Kelly Sivy, MSc (2015)

Contract Biologist, Fairbanks

Thesis: Direct and indirect effects of wolves on interior Alaska's mesopredator community


Ross Dorendorf, MSc (2015)

Biological Technician, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Thesis: Motivations and drivers of trapper catch per unit effort in Alaska


Matt Mumma, Postdoctoral Researcher (2015)

Postdoctoral Researcher, UNBC