Former graduate Students in the Creel Lab at
Jassiel M'Soka (MS): Wildlife
Conservation Network Scholarship and NSF GRA. Jassiel
examined the demography and ecology of spotted hyenas in an
ecosystem with very low density of their strong competitor the
lion. His field work was in Liuwa Plain National Park,
where he was also involved in a study of the migratory
wildebeest population. Jassiel was co-supervised by Matt
Becker of the Zambia Carnivore Programme, and was an ecologist
for the Zambian Wildlife Authority prior to beginning his
graduate work. He became a Senior Ecologist at the Zambia
Department of National Parks and Wildlife after finishing his
degree, where he focuses on large carnivore conservation.
(PhD): NSF GRA
and Fulbright Fellow. Angela, co-advised by Dr. Paul
Cross of USGS, examined the ecology and epidemiology of
brucellosis in elk on Wyoming feedgrounds and the
Yellowstone Ecosystem. Her main
project examined the factors that affect the size and
spatial distribution of elk herds, and the relationship
between these variables and changes in the seroprevalence of
Brucella. Angela went on to a postdoc at the USGS
Rocky Mountain Science Center.
Paul Schuette (PhD):
Paul studied interactions
between top carnivores (particularly lions), their
competitors, their prey, humans
and livestock, working on the
Olkiramation and Shompole Maasai group ranches in Kenya.
A lot is known about the ecology of large African carnivores,
but very little of this work has been conducted outside of
centrally-protected National Parks. Paul's study area included
regions with permanent human settlements and livestock,
seasonal human use, a conservation area with limited human
use, and a buffer zone. He found that lions coexisted
with people and attained high densities by adjusting their
occupancy of the landscape in response to seasonal movements
of people and livestock. Most ungulates and large
carnivores attained higher densities in the conservation area
than with other land uses, but all species were found in all
of the land uses. Paul went on to do a postdoc with the
Zambian Carnivore Programme, establishing a study of
large-carnivore ungulate dynamics and conservation in Kafue
National Park, and
then became a professor at the University of Alaska
Tyler Coleman (PhD):
Tyler, co-advised by Dr. Chuck Schwartz,
evaluated the effectiveness of Yellowstone National Park's
grizzly bear management policies, focusing on the closure or
restriction of use in bear management areas. His field
work was with Kerry Gunther of Yellowstone National Park.
Tyler's analysis was based on an innovative approach that put
GPS collars on grizzly bears and distributed logging GPS units
to humans using the same area at the same time. Among
other things, he learned that people stroll by grizzly bears
without knowing quite often, and the bears generally move away
following such encounters, sometimes moving large distances.
Tyler went on to a job with the National Park Service as a bear
biologist in Yellowstone National Park.
Tyler Creech (MS): Tyler co-advised by Dr. Paul Cross of USGS, used proximity
collars that recorded contacts between individual elk to examine the
ecology and epidemiology of brucellosis in elk on Wyoming feedgrounds and
the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Specifically, he examined the effect
of feedgrounds and different methods of distributing food on
feedgrounds on elk contact rates. His work showed that
contact rates among elk that aggregate at feedgrounds are very
high, and much higher than is observed in herds on native winter
ranges. This result parallels a result from Vicki
Forristal, a former student on the project, who found that
glucocorticoid stress hormone concentrations are substantially
higher in feedground elk than on winter ranges. Tyler went
on to a PhD study with Clint Epps.
Leslie Frattaroli (MS):
Leslie, co-advised by Dr. Chuck Schwartz, used downloadable GPS
collars to visit foraging sites of black bears soon after their use,
to assess recreation impacts on habitat use and to assess the
affects of grizzly bear range expansion on black bears. Her
field work was with Steve Cain in Grand Teton National Park.
Dave Christianson (PhD): Dave
examined changes in elk foraging behavior in response to the
presence of wolves, and the impacts of these changes on elk diets,
nutrition, and demography. He went on to an EU Fellowship with Anne
Loison's research group at the Université de Savoie, to examine
interactions between predation and resource limitation on chamois
nutrition and population dynamics, and then to become a professor at
the University of Arizona.
Tiffany Holland (MS): Tiffany, co-advised by Dr. Marcel
Huisjer of WTI, examed factors that contribute to vehicle
collisions with deer on US 93, testing for reductions
after mitigation measures.
Cecily Costello (PhD): Cecily studied
black bear social organization and space use as they relate to
population genetics and patterns of relatedness, using data from two
populations in NM. Wildlife Conservation Society/Hornocker Wildlife
Institute grants. Cecily went on to research with the
Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team on the genetic structure of N.
Rockies populations of grizzly bears and issues to do with ESA
Stewart Liley (MS): Stewart
used model selection methods to test the relative strength of
predator, prey and environmental characteristics in predicting
antipredator responses of elk to the presence of wolves.
Surprisingly little prior work has attempted to determine the
relative importance of these three types of variables in determining
the strength of antipredator responses. Dangerous
places? The size or proximity of predator groups?
Characteristics of the prey group itself? Answers are in his
paper in Behavioral Ecology. Stewart went on to a job as the
head elk biologist for the state of New Mexico.
John Winnie (PhD): John studied
the effects of predation risk from wolves on elk behavior, grouping
patterns and spatial distributions, producing wide ranging data that
revealed strong responses by elk in almost every aspect of their
behavior that we considered. He went on to a postdoc with
Wayne Getz and Paul Cross, studying habitat selection by
African buffalo, to work for WCS on the conservation of argali
(Marco Polo sheep) in the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, and to
become an adjunct professor at MSU.
Aaron Wagner (PhD): Aaron studied striped hyenas on the
Laikipia Plateau of Kenya, including aspects of behavior, ecology,
endocrinology and genetics. He went on to a postdoc to
continue his work on striped hyenas in Kenya, with Kay Holekamp at
Michigan State University (thereby keeping his career wholly within
institutions called MSU).
Julia Nelson (MS), who studied the impacts of coyotes on
the use of space and stress physiology of endangered San Joaquin kit
foxes, working with Dr. Brian Cypher. She went on to do some
world traveling, study languages and work in Belize for the Peace
Goran Spong (PhD), who studied
population genetics and social evolution in African lions (in the
Selous Game Reserve). Goran went on to a postdoc at
Cambridge university with Dr. Tim Clutton Brock, studying
meerkats, and then became a Professor at the University of Umea where he now is the head of
a population genetics lab and director of the graduate program.
Jennifer Sands (MS), who studied
interactions between aggression, social status and glucocorticoid
stress hormones in wolves (in Yellowstone National Park). Jennifer
went on to become a secondary science teacher in Boulder.
Amanda Hardy (MS), who studied the impacts of winter recreation on
elk and bison (in YNP). Amanda went to a job as a wildlife
ecologist for the Western Transportation Institute, and then a PhD