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conservation biology

Conservation Biology
M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

This area entails study and maintenance of biological diversity at the level of genes, populations, communities, ecosystems and biomes; intellectual underpinnings include evolutionary theory, systematic biology, population biology and ecosystem science. Conservation biology seeks ways to integrate biological principles with social, economic and political perspectives to achieve conservation goals.

The field is a response of the scientific community to the biodiversity crisis. Conservation biologists view nature’s diversity as important and having inherent value. Training in this field includes experience with the fundamental disciplines and theory of conservation biology, as well as specialization in conservation issues. Students are encouraged to explore the human dimensions of biological conservation through coursework in other departments of the College, and to acquire firsthand experience in the application of biological knowledge to problems by working for a conservation agency. Students find employment in a variety of government and private conservation agencies and in academic institutions. Many also work as administrators, policymakers, teachers and communicators. Current research areas in conservation biology include global climate change, endangered species biology, conservation genetics theory and practice, behavioral ecology, habitat fragmentation, restoration ecology, exotic species biology and control, forest and wetland ecosystem management, tropical ecology, ecological monitoring, conservation education and harvest management.

Participating Faculty

  • Martin Dovciak; mdovciak@esf.edu
    Plant Ecology, Forest Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Global Change, Ecosystem Management & Restoration
  • Shannon Farrell; sfarrell@esf.edu
    Wildlife ecology, wildlife-habitat relationships, management planning for endangered and threatened species, human impacts on wildlife, ecosystem services, endangered species act policy innovations, birds, bats
  • John M. Farrell; jmfarrell@esf.edu
    aquatic ecology, fisheries science & management, freshwater coastal wetlands, St. Lawrence River studies & Great Lakes, invasive species, restoration
  • Danilo D. Fernando; fernando@esf.edu
    plant structure and development, reproductive biology of conifers, pollen transformation, genomics and proteomics of pine pollen tube development, willow flowering and tissue culture, genetic diversity of rare and endangered ferns, and plant evolution, diversity and conservation.
  • Melissa K. Fierke; mkfierke@esf.edu
    forest entomology, forest ecology, invasive forest pests, insect-tree interactions, tree defenses
  • Jacqueline Frair; jfrair@esf.edu
    wildlife ecology and management, ecology of large herbivores and predators, animal movements, resource selection, population demography, quantitative methods in conservation, landscape ecology
  • James Gibbs; jpgibbs@esf.edu
    herpetology, vertebrate conservation biology, genetics and ecology in birds, reptiles and amphibians, songbirds, giant tortoise, statistics, wildlife population monitoring, galapagos islands, conservation biology, ecological monitoring, population genetics, applied demography, undergraduate conservation education
  • Thomas R. Horton; trhorton@esf.edu
    mycorrhizal plant ecology, molecular ecology, ecology, fungal communities, mycology, fire ecology
  • Robin W. Kimmerer; rkimmer@esf.edu
    plant restoration ecology, bryology, bryoecology, restoration ecology, ethnobotany, conservation biology and bryophyte ecology, traditional ecological knowledge
  • Donald J. Leopold; djleopold@esf.edu
    forest and freshwater wetland ecology, conservation, and restoration, peatland ecology and conservation, local and regional controls of species richness and rarity, dynamics of plant communities as affected by man and environment, management for unique communities and rare species, dendrology, native plants, restoration ecology, rare species conservation
  • Karin E. Limburg; klimburg@esf.edu
    riverine fish and estuarine ecology, fisheries ecology, watershed ecology, systems ecology, ecological economics, fisheries and ecosystem science, coupled human-natural systems, biogeochemistry, fisheries ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical tracers, modeling
  • Mark V. Lomolino; island@esf.edu
    conservation biology, wildlife, ecology, evolution and biogeography
  • Stacy A. McNulty; smcnulty@esf.edu
    forest ecology, landscape ecology, long-term monitoring, and applied geographic information systems. focused on exploring long-term changes, biodiversity conservation in the northern forest, and impacts of recreation, development, and forest management in the adirondack mountains and northern forest, phenology, amphibians, beaver, songbirds, white-tailed deer, animal movements and habitat use, wildlife management
  • Dylan Parry; dparry@esf.edu
    population dynamics and evolutionary ecology of defoliating Lepidoptera and their natural enemies (predators, parasitoids, and pathogens), invasive species in forested environments, insect-plant interactions, conservation of moths and butterflies, forest entomology, biological control
  • William A. Powell; wapowell@esf.edu
    forest biotechnology, molecular plant-microbe interactions, genetic engineering in plant conservation, antimicrobial peptide design, plant gene design, plant pathology, molecular biology
  • Neil H. Ringler; neilringler@esf.edu
    fish ecology and behavior, foraging behavior of fishes, salmon reproduction, vertebrate anatomy, aquatic insect ecology, stream ecology and management, aquatic and fisheries restoration, aquatic entomology
  • Rebecca Rundell; rundell@esf.edu
    evolutionary biology, conservation biology, speciation, adaptive and nonadaptive radiations, biogeography, phylogenetics, systematics, Pacific island radiations and biodiversity conservation, land snails, marine/aquatic microscopic invertebrates
  • Kimberly L. Schulz; kschulz@syr.edu
    nutrient and exotic species effects on aquatic ecosystems, ecological stoichiometry, aquatic community and ecosystem ecology, bioenergetics, nutrient cycling, lower food web studies, great lakes, finger lakes, plankton, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, invasive species
  • William M. Shields; wms1@syr.edu
    animal behavior, evolution and genetics, evolution of animal communication and dispersal systems, effects of genetic constraints on the evolution of social behavior, sociobiology and behavioral ecology, the use of DNA in identity testing and conservation biology, the interface between science and the law, conservation theory, behavior in birds and mammals, forensic DNA analysis
  • Donald Stewart; djstewart@esf.edu
    ecology and systematics, lake systems ecology, aquatic ecology, fish conservation, ecology and population biology in tropical and temperate systems, fish ecology and fisheries management, ecological energetics, modeling predation and production processes, Great Lakes ecosystems, Amazonian ecosystems, ecology and systematics of neotropical freshwater fishes
  • Stephen A. Teale; sateale@esf.edu
    forest entomology, insect behavior, pheromones of forest insects, insect ecology, pest management, chemical ecology, evolution of pheromone communications
  • J. Scott Turner; jsturner@syr.edu
    animal physiology, physiological ecology, thermal energetics, biology of body size, physiology of gas exchange
  • H. Brian Underwood; hbunderw@syr.edu
    wildlife ecology, deer, small mammals, songbirds, quantitative ecology and biostatistics, population surveys, ecological modeling and simulation, national park management, applied population analysis, life-history evolution, trophic dynamics, large mammal management
  • Alexander Weir; alexw@esf.edu
    conservation mycology, fungal biodiversity and conservation, fungal-arthropod interactions, biology of parasites and symbionts, systematics and evolutionary biology of fungi, fungi and humans, biology of parasites and symbionts

Current Graduate Students in Conservation Biology

Current Students

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Katrina AlgerKatrina Alger
kealger@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Whipps

Samouel BeguinSamouel Beguin
sjbeguin@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): McNulty
Undergraduate Institute: Middlebury College (Biological Sciences)

Links
Web Link

Personal Statement
I am drawn to projects focused on environmental stewardship and the broader goal of safeguarding the biosphere for future generations of all life. I plan to develop my career around integrated, interdisciplinary, and international environmental projects related to biodiversity conservation, wetlands ecology and management, and social-ecological systems resilience. Upon completion of my academic training, I will seek projects and positions that will help me build skills related to project management, environmental communication/education/outreach, citizen science program development, watershed stewardship, biological monitoring, and local food systems.

Graduate Research Topic
Adirondack boreal wetland soundscapes: Birds, land use, roads, and noise

Favorite Quote
“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” - Aldo Leopold

Trinity BoisvertTrinity Boisvert
tmboisve@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer

Laura BrownLaura Brown
lrbrow02@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Leopold
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF (Biology)

Favorite Quote
"We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well - for we will not fight to save what we do not love." -Stephen Jay Gould

Jesse Czekanski-MoirJesse Czekanski-Moir
jeczekan@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Rundell

Samantha DeanSamantha Dean
shdea100@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Michael FishmanMichael Fishman
msfishma@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University (Natural Resources)

Emily GavardEmily Gavard
ejgavard@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): and Whipps

Cody GilbertsonCody Gilbertson
crgilber@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Rundell

Graduate Research Topic
Removing the threat of stochastic extinction for the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail: A collaborative captive propagation effort to develop ex situ populations in New York State.

Chellby KilhefferChellby Kilheffer
crkilhef@syr.edu

EFB Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Underwood

Mikhail PaltsynMikhail Paltsyn
mypaltsy@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Alex PetzkeAlex Petzke
apetzke@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Leopold

Jennifer PotrikusJennifer Potrikus
jrpotrik@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Fernando

Angga RachmansahAngga Rachmansah
arachman@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Charles RobinsonCharles Robinson
cwrobins@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): McNulty

Michael ServissMichael Serviss
mjservis@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Fernando
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF

Graduate Research Topic
Restoration of the Federally listed American Hart's-Tongue Fern in the upstate New York region.

Home Page
Web Link

Giuseppe TumminelloGiuseppe Tumminello
gtummine@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Fierke and Volk
Undergraduate Institute: Cornell University

Tess YoukerTess Youker
teyouker@syr.edu

Conservation Biology

Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): and Gibbs

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