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Ryan Long – Assistant Professor

I completed my B.S. in Wildlife Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (2004), my M.S. in Wildlife Resources at the University of Idaho (2007), and my Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Idaho State University (2013). After a 1-year post-doc at Princeton University, I joined the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences at UI in the fall of 2014. My research focuses on the behavioral and physiological ecology of large mammals. I'm especially interested in how the interplay between individual behavior and physiology scales up to influence population performance, and much of my work seeks to quantify the fitness consequences of individual foraging and movement patterns. I work in a variety of ecosystems to address these types of questions, from the montane forests and high-elevation deserts of the Intermountain West, to the woody savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Curriculum Vitae - Ryan Long

 

Current Graduate Students


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Hallie Walker – PhD Student

I am fascinated by why and how large mammals move throughout their landscape and how behavioral responses to environmental factors shape community structure. Currently, I am working on a project that investigates the scaling of behavior with antelope body size by using landscape-level experimental techniques to go beyond correlative ecological models to find mechanisms underlying herbivore niche differentiation. I graduated from Brown University in 2017. Before joining the Long Lab, I worked on projects studying the shifting continental distribution of flora in response to changing climate, elk response to catastrophic fire events, prairie dog population dynamics after plague outbreaks, and large carnivore behavioral ecology in Botswana.

 
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Savannah Rogers – MS Student

My research interests lie at the intersection of thermal ecology and mathematical modeling. I am particularly interested in how thermoregulatory costs impact spatial distributions and habitat use. I received my B.S. in Mathematics: Applied Scientific Modeling at the University of Idaho where my undergraduate research focused on the relative importance of thermal refugia to antelope of varying body sizes and how that relative importance is likely to change with the climate. For my M.S. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, I'm investigating the constraints that the thermal environment imposes on the energy budgets of grizzly bears by utilizing a complex energetics model. I'm also looking at how those constraints will impact spatial distributions using machine learning techniques such as genetic algorithms for rule set prediction. 

 
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Marc Wiseman – MS Student

My research lies at the intersection of disease ecology, behavioral ecology and conservation. Specifically, I am interested in how normally adaptive animal behaviors can facilitate the spread of novel pathogens. I am currently exploring how the nutritional landscape in central Idaho influences the movement of bighorn sheep within and among populations, and to what degree this movement facilitates the transmission of pneumonia. Prior to joining the Long lab, I worked on the prevalence and phylogeography of Lyme disease in the Midwest.

 
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Nikie Bilodeau – MS Student

I have broad research interests in wildlife behavior, predator-prey interactions, resource competition, and movement. More specifically I am interested in studying these topics to improve wildlife management and conservation decisions. Over the years I have had the opportunity to study a variety of species ranging from birds of prey and amphibians all the way to carnivores and ungulates. Currently, my research is focused on the complex factors that influence the survival of bighorn sheep lambs, and in particular the effects of nutrition on lamb survival.

 
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Sierra Robatcek – MS Student

I am interested in wildlife-habitat interactions and the application of remote sensing to wildlife research and management.  I am particularly interested in migratory behavior of ungulates and the influence of nutrition on population dynamics.  I have been fortunate to work with wolverines, songbirds, sage grouse and a variety of ungulate species.  My current research focuses on using remotely sensed data to develop a spatiotemporally dynamic map of the nutritional landscape available to elk in Idaho, which we will then use to inform predictive models of pregnancy rates of elk populations throughout the state.

 

Lab Alumni


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Jen Merems – Master of Science, Natural Resources

Current Position – PhD student, University of Wisconsin Madison

Thesis Title: Variation in the nutritional landscape modulates sublethal effects of competitors and predators on herbivore fitness

 
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Paola Branco – Master of Science, Natural Resources

Current Position – Wildlife Veterinarian

Thesis Title: The elephants of Gorongosa: an integrated approach to conservation and conflict mitigation in the shadow of war