In general, my research interests lie at the nexus of conservation biology, disturbance ecology and wildlife-human interactions, specifically pertaining to mammals (but mostly bats and rodents). My research focuses broadly on the consequences of human disturbance on wildlife species at multiple ecological scales – individual, population, and assemblage. More recently, my research interests have expanded to incorporate interdisciplinary approaches to answer questions about the relationship between human disturbance, wildlife health and zoonotic disease emergence.
My past research experience includes using mark-recapture techniques to determine the population- and community-level effects of heavy metal contamination on small mammal assemblages inhabiting a superfund site (thesis research), monitoring the status of a newly established population of black bears (Ursus americanus) at the southern periphery of their range, statewide mammalian surveys to update state agencies regarding current distributions, and numerous cave-roosting bat surveys. My dissertation focused on the impacts of human disturbance (e.g., cave tourism, guano harvesting, and hunting) on the composition and abundance of cave-roosting bats, and using this information to identify correlates of bat diversity to prioritize caves to promote bat conservation. I’m also interested in the response of individual bats to cave disturbance, using multiple physiological health markers to understand the underlying mechanisms by which individuals cope with stressors.