PEOPLE

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CHRIS SUTHERLAND

Assistant Professor

KADAMBARI DEVARAJAN

Ph.D Student

email: kdevarajan@umass.edu
twitter: @kadambarid
website: kadambarid.in
git: kadambarid

I am an engineer-turned-ecologist and a data geek who likes to study wildlife populations. My research focuses on community ecology and ecological interactions. I am interested in how species are distributed in space and time, and how their interactions influence them at different levels - individual, population, community, ecosystem. As a PhD student in the Sutherland Lab, I’m working on multi-species models with a focus on monitoring vertebrates. This work will involve designing models on multi-species data sets in order to make robust inferences on 'by-catch' species using studies designed for a focal organism.

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JOE DRAKE

Ph.D Student

twitter: @fieldbiojoe  /  instagram: @fieldbiojoe

email: jdrake@umass.edu

website: secretlifeofafieldbiologist.wordpress.com

pubs: google scholar

 

I am all about context and connectivity. I am driven by a mixture of curiosity and practicality. While searching for ecological understanding, I also try to translate such curiosity into science with meaningful applications for multiple stakeholders and management solutions. I am extremely interested in the intersections of landscape and spatial ecology. Bridging these two fields of research will lead to much greater understanding of spatio-temporal trends in wildlife. These developments can lead to greater understanding in species persistence in fragmented landscapes through dispersal driven processes of colonization and extinction. Integrating classic landscape connectivity methods such as graph theory, genetic connectivity,  and least-cost paths with spatially explicit metapopulation methods, I am trying to understand how water voles survive in the a naturally fragmented environment in Assynt, Scotland.

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DONOVAN DRUMMEY

M.S. Student

email: ddrummey@umass.edu

I am a native New Englander with a background in both Forestry and Wildlife Biology. I’ve always been fascinated by the interactions between the physical environment and the organisms within it, and how knowledge of these interactions can improve our ability to defend them. My goal is to better understand at-risk species so that we can manage their environments in ways that protect them and assist in their recovery. My current work uses camera traps and scat surveys to understand how habitat affects the distribution, occurrence, and density of American marten populations in New Hampshire.​

SARAH EMEL

Darwin Postdoctoral Fellow

twitter: @Sarah_Emel

email: semel@umass.edu

website: sarahemel.weebly.com

pubs: google scholar

I am interested in the eco-evolutionary dynamics of species’ responses to human habitat alteration and using this information to improve conservation management. I am using population genetic and genomic tools to study the spatial dispersal patterns of endangered water voles across the landscape in NW Scotland.

PATRICIA LEVASSUER

M.S. Student

email: plevasseur@umass.edu

I study the population ecology of rare species, with a focus on herpetofauna. I am particularly interested in how we can effectively track population trends over time and better understand the environmental drivers affecting
these trends to inform timely conservation management practices. For my masters, I am developing the monitoring protocols that will establish a comprehensive long-term population assessment of the state-threatened Diamondback Terrapin in Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts.

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JILL FLEMING

M.S. Student

twitter: @salamander_jill

email: jefleming@umass.edu

I'm an aspiring herpetologist, dog lover, and music junkie. For my MS research I am evaluating artificial cover boards, particularly their spatial arrangement, for the monitoring of terrestrial salamanders. The motivation for my research is to ensure the integrity of salamander population parameter estimation, and consequently the way we conserve and manage their populations and habitats.

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BEN PADILLA

Ph.D Student

twitter: @Bpdilla

email: bjpadilla@umass.edu

website: bpadillaecology.weebly.com

pubs: Google Scholar

I am interested in understanding how ecosystems are influenced by human dominated landscapes such as agriculture and urbanization. Before this can be done, though, ecologists must define where on the spectrum of agriculture natural, and urban a given location is. In other words, how 'city-ish’, ‘farm-ish’, or ‘nature-y’ a place is. For my PhD, I am developing an objective method for quantifying landscapes into a numeric ‘urban gradient’, then applying this gradient to evaluate the response of forest ecosystems in Massachusetts to urbanization and agriculture.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UNDERGRADUATES

  • Abigail Thomas

  • Ben Sharaff