Conservation Research Laboratory: Visiting Scholars

Kenta Uchida - Hokkaido Univeristy, Hokkaido Japan

  • Date of visit -24 July - 13 August 2017
Kenta is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Environmental Science and a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science research fellow at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Kenta's main research interests involve how animals respond to anthropogenic disturbance from a behavioral adaptation perspective. His research examines behavioral adaptations to urbanization with the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) as a model organism. He is also interested in habituation process of animals to human disturbance. Kenta studies how animal personality differs in response to increasing urbanization and the effect of personality differences in human-wildlife interactions. Kenta visited the KCRL to discuss his research and solicit feedback and advice as well as to experience wildlife field methods for mammals and other taxa. During his visit, Kenta presented his dissertation research and enjoyed discussions and suggestions that followed. In addition to research discussions and the opportunity to learn new field-based methods for wildlife research on many species, we also discussed important opportunities for international collaboration between The Wildlife Society and the Mammal Society of Japan. We look forward to continued work together in the future!  
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Chihiro Ishii - Hokkaido Univeristy, Hokkaido Japan

  • Date of visit -1-22 March 2016
Chihiro is a PhD student at the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Japan, where she received her license of veterinary medicine in 2014. Chihiro works in the Laboratory of Toxicology where her research themes are primarily lead (Pb) poisoning and source identification in raptors from Japan, and secondarily identification of novel renal biomarkers in avian species. Ultimately, Chihiro is interested in the conservation of endangered species as a wildlife veterinarian. Chihiro visited the KCRL to learn about the techniques used in long-term wildlife studies, including population censuses, mark-recapture, radio telemetry and behavioral observations. Chihiro assisted with the quarterly March census of Mt. Graham red squirrels in the Pinaleño Mountains and learned to assess site occupancy by red squirrels, methods for handling animals and assessing biophysical condition, as well as understanding their behavior in the wild. In addition, Chihiro visited the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson and the Phoenix Zoo to learn a role of zoos in the conservation of threatened wildlife species.  
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Dr. Emily Goldstein - University College Cork, Ireland

  • Date of visit -November 2015 - November 2016
Emily received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College, MA in 2007 and completed her Master’s degree in Ecosystem Conservation and Landscape Management in 2010 from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her M.Sc research focused on monitoring the health of European red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) populations from which animals had been taken for conservation translocation projects. She completed her Ph.D “Ecology of frontier populations of the invasive grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Ireland” at University College Cork, Ireland in 2014. During her Ph.D she compared the efficacy and cost-efficiency of traditional hair-tube surveys and citizen science survey for monitoring invasion frontiers and investigated the effects of state on personality expression in grey squirrels. She used data that she collected during an intensive live-trapping program to answer questions about how frontier populations of grey squirrels function differently than those that are established or in the native range and created a spatially explicit population model to test the effects of control strategies on the future expansion of grey squirrels in Ireland. Emily joins the KCRL to investigate the population demographics of the MGRS and Abert’s squirrels on Mount Graham and will use sophisticated analysis techniques to understand the factors influencing population functioning, habitat species interactions and occupancy patterns.
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Maria-Vittoria Mazzamuto - University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

  • Date of visit - February - May 2015
Maria-Vittoria received her Master's degree in 2011 from the University of Catania (Sicily, Italy) titled "Biodiversity and nature conservancy". She studied the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) on Mount Etna, focusing on density estimation via camera trapping, diet analysis. In 2012, Maria-Vittoria began a PhD project at the University of Insubria (Varese, Lombardy, Italy) titled "Biodiversity analysis, protection and management". For her PhD, Maria-Vittoria focuses on the mechanisms of competition between native Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) and introduced Pallas's squirrels (Callosciurus erythraeus) and is interested in testing 3 main competition hypotheses: space use, food resources, and parasite mediated competition. She is conducting experimental removals of introduced Pallas's squirrels, capture-recapture of Eurasian red squirrels, radio-telemetry of both species, coprological analyses, and necropsy to assess competition and test hypotheses. While in Arizona, Maria-Vittoria will be assisting with various research projects in the KCRL, including space use of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus).
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Calebe Pereira Mendes - Universidade Estadual Paulista, São Paulo Brazil

  • Date of visit - April 2015 - April 2016
Calebe received his Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at the Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Brazil, and his Master's degree in Zoology at Universidade Estadual Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil. Calebe is currently a PhD candidate at Universidade Estadual Paulista under the advisors Dr. Mauro Galetti and Dr. Milton Ribeiro. He is interested in understanding how environmental factors moderate the behavioral ecology of mammals and how animal movements affect plant-animal interactions. Calebe's dissertation project, "Effects of animal movement on plant-animal interactions", will include 1 year conducting research at the University of Arizona with the KCRL where he will be studying the effects of microclimate on caching behavior of Mt. Graham red squirrels.
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Dr. Leszek Rychlik - Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

  • Date of visit - September - October 2014
Dr. Rychlik is an associate professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and the head of the Department of Systematic Zoology. His research group focuses on the behavioral, community, and physiological ecology of small mammals, particularly shrews, with focus on foraging, territoriality, habitat preferences, intra-and interspecific competition, separation of ecological niches, maternal care, communication, social organization, physiological tolerances, diving and swimming abilities, and venom toxicity. Dr. Rychlik heads a diverse research program focusing on 1) mechanisms separating ecological niches of shrews and the influence of competition on shrew morphology and behavior, 2) winter eco-physiology of shrews, 3) relationships between metabolic strategies and personality traits in shrews, and 4) gentic variability, phylogeography, and evolution of shrews in Europe. In addition to shrew research, Dr. Rychlik has also studied the ecology of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and conducted field and museum work in Spain, Vietnam, England, Germany, Slovakia, and Greece. Dr. Rychlik worked with the KCRL to study small mammal diversity and shrew abundance in the Pinaleño and White Mountains of Arizona.
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Tatsuki Shimamoto - Iwate University, Morioka, Iwate, Japan

  • Date of visit - October 2014
Tatsuki is a PhD student at the United Graduate School of Agricultural Science at Iwate University, Japan, where he received his license of veterinary medicine in 2013. His dissertation aims to understand the associations between physiology and life histories of Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans) with focus on how their reproductive physiology affects individual fitness. Tatsuki had the opportunity to visit the KCRL to discuss research ideas, conduct field work on Mt. Graham, and attend the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with the KCRL group.
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Mieko Kawamichi - Kansai Wildlife Research Institute, Kyoto, Japan

  • Dates of visit - Fall 2012, Fall 2013
Mieko is a representative at Kansai Wildlife Research Institute in Kyoto Japan. Her research is centered around 2 major themes: the ecology and overwinter physiology of chipmunks and invasive species management in Japan, with particular emphasis in racoon (Procyon lotor) eradication. Mieko has studied the feeding, food caching, and nesting behavior as well as the overwinter physiology of Siberian chipmunk (Tamius sibricus) on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. In North America, Mieko has examined the feeding behavior of the yellow pine chipmunk (Tamias amoenus) as well as its interaction with North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and cache pilferage of red squirrel larderhoards in British Columbia, Canada. During her visits to our research group, Mieko conducts comparative research on the cliff chipmunk (Tamias dorsalis) in the Pinaleño Mountains (Mt. Graham) in Arizona, investigating nest use, feeding behavior, and spatial partituioning of nest sites and other behavioral interactions with the Mt. Graham red squirrels (T. h. grahamensis).
Watch Mieko on the PBS Nature episode "Raccoon Nation" and learn about her work on invasive raccoons in Japan here. Mieko's section begins at 19:23.
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