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My research with agoutis has focused on their predation and dispersal of seeds.  Agoutis prefer large seeds which they can store in scattered underground caches.  They later retrieve and eat these caches when there is no fresh food available.  This behavior, known as scatter-hoarding, is very important to the trees because it moves the seeds away from the […]


Coyotes in the eastern USA offer an amazing experiment in both evolution and ecology.  Coyotes are new immigrants to the area, and our research showed that they hybridized with wolves before they moved east, and that this helped them rapidly evolve larger skulls, that presumably help them be more efficient deer hunters. A second study led […]


We studied the migration ecology of Great Egrets in collaboration with schools in North Carolina. Each bird sends us GPS locations on a daily basis, which you can see in the map below. You can learn more about the journeys of these animals at this blog posts describing exactly how we use this technology to learn […]


I worked with Scott LaPoint to study suburban fishers in Albany, NY.  We used a new high-resolution tracking collar to learn exactly where these fishers were going, and build dynamic brownian bridge home ranges.  These data allowed us to identify Animal Defined Corridors, showing how individuals moved between core feeding areas. We also asked – […]


I studied ocelots in Panama, working with students to publish information about their diet, home range patterns, diseases, and interactions with their prey.  We found them to be a major predator of agoutis, often hunting them at night by trying to get into their burrows (video below).  Ocelots at our site eat a lot of […]


I have collaborated with Dr. Meg Crofoot in research on the movement ecology of White-faced Capuchins and Olive Baboons.  We used our Automated Radio Telemetry System to track groups of capuchins, finding they had a ‘home field advantage‘ when competing with their neighbors for fruit trees, with groups more likely to win when they were […]


I worked with Bruce Patterson studying the maneless lions of Tsavo, Kenya. We showed that this population of lions is unique in the the males don’t grow large manes, but have smaller scraps of hair appearing as mow hawks or sideburns, or sometimes none at all.  Two of these lions are famous (like Hollywood movie, […]


I did my Ph.D. research on kinkajous and have continued occasional projects with them since then.  I trapped and radio-collared the animals so I could follow them around at night, then observed their behavior from the ground.  I described their diet, through feeding observations and scat analysis, finding them to be among the most frugivorous […]


I studied mice in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve with Chris Collins resulting in this first ever paper on the causes of mortality in mice. Now working on NEON data about mouse abundance across the United States.


I studied sloths in Panama with Bryson Voirin and Niels Rattenborg.   We used tiny EEG sensors to conduct the first ever study of sleep in a wild animal, finding that wild sloths sleep much less than those in captivity (9 vs. 16hrs/day).  Why animals (including humans) sleep is one of the great biological mysteries of […]


In 2013 I was coauthor on the discovery of the first new species of Carnivora from the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.    A few years later we were able to update our knowledge about the olinguito’s distribution by adding a bunch of citizen science observations and improving the distribution model.    Here’s a video […]


We tracked toucans with small GPS units to understand their movement patterns and dispersal of seeds.  We used detailed tracking data to determine where they were likely feeding, determined how long they typically ingest a seed before spitting it up, and then combined these two data sets to estimate how far they actually disperse seeds. […]

Fishers with Personality?

Originally published in the NY Times online on May 5, 2011. One of my favorite parts of doing science is coming up with a new idea and testing it out. Usually these fail, and that’s O.K. — I still learn something. Studying animals that run around on their own terms in nature is fraught with […]

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