Current Graduate Students
Creel Lab at MSU
Milan Vinks (MS) MSU GTA and ZCP GRA
Milan is using long term data from Kafue National Park in central Zambia to examine the hypothesis that large carnivores, particularly lions, are limited by prey depletion. He is using distance sampling to measure the density of of the most abundant prey species, test whether prey density is affected by anthropogenic variables, and compare density to other miombo ecosystems. He is using mark-resight models to estimate lion abundance and survival, test whether variation in lion survival is related to prey density within a home range, and compare lion density and survival to other ecosystems. Because Kafue is one of a small set of remaining 'stronghold' lion populations, this information is needed to inform national and regional efforts for lion conservation.
Ben Goodheart (MS) MSU GTA and ZCP GRA
Ben is analyzing almost a decade of intensive data on the demography and density of African wild dogs in the Greate Kafue Ecosystem. In addition to providing baseline data on demography for a critical population, he is examining how long term changes in prey density and the composition of the prey community affect wild dogs. He will also examine factors that restrict their distribution and movements.
Johnathan Merkle (MS) MSU GTA and ZCP GRA
Johnathan is analyzing a decade of intensive data on the demography and density of African wild dogs in South Luangwa National Park and the adjoining Game Management Areas. In addition to providing baseline data on demography for a critical population, he is examining how wild dogs trade-off a 'rock and a hard place' - high lion density in the park, high snare density and prey depletion in the GMAs.
Anna Kusler (PhD) Panthera Kaplan Fellow
Anna is establishing the density of cheetahs in the Kafue Ecosystem and examining the factors that affect their distribution, movements, hunting and survival. This information is needed to inform policy for both local and regional conservation, including policy for the Kavango-Zambezu Transfrontier Conservation Area.