Center for Conservation Biology

CCB Alumni

Yue Shi, PhD: Center for Conservation Biology

The annual migration of Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) from their winter ranges to traditional birthing grounds is one of the earth’s ecological spectacles. To better understand it, during their migration season Ms. Shi collected Chiru fecal samples, from which she obtained genetic, hormonal and microbiome information, resulting in a rich dataset that sheds light on how migration may be the key to genetic resilience in the face of dramatic population decline and how natural history, physical constraints and the environment interact to shape female reproductive behavior.

Jennifer Mae White Day, PhD: Center for Conservation Biology

Jennifer earned her PhD at CCB researching landscape genetic patterns of jaguar and puma in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. She is interested in quantifying the relationship between geographic characteristics and spatially explicit genetic information. Her research focused on wide-ranging carnivore species, such as the jaguar and puma, in patchy environments. Her dissertation work will be applicable to many other wildlife species faced with human encroachment on natural habitats.

Samrat Mondol: Research Affiliate

Samrat collaborated with CCB to validate and integrate noninvasive hormone analyses into a broader program that included monitoring the distribution, abundance and physiological health of tigers and leopards across India, as well forensic applications to the illegal wildlife trade. The latter includes developing a user-friendly version of the Smoothed-Continuous Assignment Method (SCAT) our Center developed to assign poached material to its place of origin.

Shaili Johri: Post Doctoral, Center for Conservation Biology

Shaili obtained her Ph.D in Human Genetics from the University of Utah, and brought her expertise in molecular genetics and molecular biology to the Wasser lab. She used this knowledge to determine changes in the ecosystem due to the return of wolves, as apex predators, in North East Washington.. Shaili also helped to develop methods for toxin detection/identification and gene expression analyses on killer whale scats. She used these metrics to study killer whale health with respect to environmental pollutants in the Salish Sea.

Jessica Lundin: PhD, Center for Conservation Biology.

Jessica was a EPA STAR Fellow with a focus in environmental toxicology. Jessica’s research project dissertation monitored and evaluated contamination in the Puget Sound ecosystem by using detection dogs to collect scat from the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW).

Emily Owens: M.Sc.BT, Department of Biology.

She worked on developing an aldosterone assay, an adrenal hormone involved in the regulation of salt, potassium, fluid, and blood pressure.

Lisa Hayward: Post Doctoral, Center for Conservation Biology.

Lisa collaborated with Dr. Sam Wasser, as well as managers from U.S Fish and Wildlife and the U.S Forest Service, and motorcycle riders from the Blue Ribbon Coalition to examine the effects of off-road vehicle use on the physiology, behavior and reproductive output of the northern spotted owl.

Kathleen Gobush: PhD, Center for Conservation Biology.

Her research examined long term impacts of poaching on a population of wild elephants in Tanzania that was severely poached in the 1980’s. She investigated how elephant group composition impacts their competitive ability, reproductive output and stress physiology using non-invasive fecal hormone and molecular techniques.

Carly Vynne: PhD, Department of Biology.

Carly’s principal research interest was in understanding the functional connectivity of landscapes from the perspective of wide-ranging mammals. Her PhD research combined fieldwork, DNA and hormone analysis and spatial modeling to understand the influence of a changing landscape on the plight of unique and endangered species of the South American savannas.

Katherine Ayres: PhD, Department of Biology.

Katherine made a dramatic change in study systems to killer whales for her dissertation work. She has a keen interest in the use of non-invasive physiological monitoring tools and understanding how persistent organic pollutants disrupt the endocrine system.