e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Conservation Biology Area of Study for M.S., M.P.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Biology

conservation biology Apply

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

  • Jerrold L. Belant; jbelant@esf.edu
    wildlife ecology and management, carnivore conservation, human-wildlife conflicts, ecological plasticity, international conservation
  • Jonathan Cohen; jcohen14@esf.edu
    wildlife ecology and management, population and habitat ecology, threatened and endangered species
  • Martin Dovciak; mdovciak@esf.edu
    Plant Ecology, Forest Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Global Change, Ecosystem Management and 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; dfernando@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, phenology, vertebrate ecology. exploration of long-term changes, biodiversity conservation, and relationship of human land use planning, recreation, and forest management to ecosystem function in the northern forest.
  • Dylan Parry; dparry@esf.edu
    Biological invasion, climate change, and conservation, primarily in the context of insects in forested ecosystems.
  • 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; nhringle@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; rrundell@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@esf.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
  • Michael L. Schummer; mlschumm@esf.edu
    Waterfowl Ecology, Waterfowl Management, Waterfowl Conservation, Wetlands Management, Wetlands Conservation, Ornithology, Plant-Animal Associations, Conservation Biology, Wildlife Ecology, Wetlands Ecology, Wildlife-habitat relationships, ecology, climate change, human dimensions of wildlife, avian toxicology
  • William M. Shields; wshields@esf.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
  • John C. Stella; stella@esf.edu
    riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems
  • 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@esf.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; aweir@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 names appear at start of academic year


Mariano Arias

mgarias@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Dovciak
Undergraduate Institution: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Biology)


James Arrigoni

James Arrigoni

jearrigo@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Schulz

Previous Graduate Study: State University of New York C (Environmental Science)

Home Page
http://www.esf.edu/efb/gibbs/JA.htm



Lilian Bonjorne de Almeida

Lilian Bonjorne de Almeida

lbdealme@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Frair

Previous Graduate Study: Universidade Federal de Minas (Ecology )

Graduate Research Topic
Effects of forest loss and fragmentation on felids in Brazil. Collaboration with Brazilian institutions, including CENAP/ ICMBio (National Research Center for Carnivore Conservation/ Chico Mendes for the Conservation of Biodiversity), Guarulhos Zoo, and São Paulo City Hall.



Emlyn Clark

ebclar01@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Rundell
Undergraduate Institution: Alfred University (Biology)


Jesse Czekanski-Moir

Jesse Czekanski-Moir

Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Rundell

google scholar profile
Web Link

Personal Statement
Well howdy there! I study the causes and correlates of species diversity, especially as they pertain to ants and land snails in Palau. Check out the links for more info!

Graduate Research Topic
Conservation Biology; community ecology; evolutionary biology; biogeography; some dabbling in simulations of evolution

Home Page
Web Link

follow me on twitter or don't
Web Link

Palau field course blog
Web Link

sometimes I help this ant blog
Web Link

I fell into a soil pit once
Web Link



Kaya DeerInWater

kdeerinw@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer


Sarah Dzielski

Sarah Dzielski

sadziels@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Razavi
Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University

Graduate Research Topic
Effects of anthropogenic mercury pollution and land use change on avian health and diversity



Michelle Herman

Michelle Herman

miherman@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Graduate Research Topic
Working thesis title: Effects of Water Source and Diet on the Condition of Juvenile Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) during Rearing in Captivity and Repatriation to the Wild



Toby Liss

Toby Liss

trliss@syr.edu
EFB Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Leopold

Graduate Research Topic
Marginal plant species for use on green roofs and the effects of species composition on green roof functioning for stormwater reduction

Undergraduate Study
University of Pittsburgh (Ecology and Evolution, Linguistics)

Social Media
@mslissecologist on Instagram and Twitter



Joanna Isadora Lumbsden Pinto

Joanna Isadora Lumbsden Pinto

jlumsden@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Personal Statement
My major area of interest is about the interaction between ecosystem dynamics and anthropogenic and climate alterations. I am interested in comprehend how this interaction influences the resilience and adaptability of the biota and what could be the implications on its management and restoration. I am inquisitive for investigating topics of this nature so we could be able to develop sustainable approaches, interdisciplinary management and conservation methodologies that protect and preserve forests, their components and their inhabitants such as Indigenous People.

Graduate Research Topic
Developing a community and expert based long-term biodiversity monitoring framework which will be executed for the first time in an existing restoration project located in the tropical dry forest in Panama. This, hopefully will serve as a model to be used in other areas in the country that are part of the efforts to restore tropical forests.

Favorite Quote
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” C.S. Lewis



Joseph Makaure

jmakaure@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Stewart and Rundell


Dina Matiukhina

dsmatiuk@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Frair


Laine McCall

Laine McCall

lemccall@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell
Undergraduate Institution: University of Missouri Columbia*

Graduate Research Topic
My research will focus on how science and policy interactions affect the management and protection of endangered species.



James Molloy

jmmolloy@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Leopold


Timothy Morris

Timothy Morris

tmorri04@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Fierke and Drake
Undergraduate Institution: Suny Binghamton

Personal Statement
I am currently a first year Master's student here at ESF working in the Fierke lab. I am currently working on projects related to the emerald ash borer, ash decline, and relevant parasitoids. I am extremely interested in work studying the long-term impacts of invasions; and any implications for management and restoration efforts. Ideally through this work I will be able to educate others and help design management efforts.

Graduate Research Topic
Emerald ash borer and associated parasitoids



Ravyn Neville

Ravyn Neville

ranevill@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell
Undergraduate Institution: Salisbury University

Graduate Research Topic
I am working on developing a project that examines how beech bark disease is impacting the biodiversity of the Adirondacks. Specifically, I'm interested in how different wildlife communities respond to the removal of American beech, and how that translates in effective forest management planning.



Claire O'Kane

cyokane@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Gibbs
Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University


Alex Petzke

apetzke@syr.edu
EFB Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Leopold


Michael Rosenthal

Michael Rosenthal

mrosen05@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Farrell and Stella
Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University

Links
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrrosenthal/ ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Rosenthal3

Graduate Research Topic
My research examines the effects that beavers' tree felling activities has upon small rodent, weasel, shrew and bat biodiversity and habitat selection.



Annie Sorrell

asorrell@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer


Julia Vanaman

Julia Vanaman

jvanaman@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Gibbs

Links
Web Link

Personal Statement
I have known from a very young age that working with animals is what makes me happiest. Growing up, I always had an assortment of pets including whatever creatures I found in my backyard, such as snakes, salamanders, caterpillars, and many others. Although these last were only a temporary addition to what my family liked to call "The Menagerie," animals eventually became my permanent passion that spurred me to study conservation biology. We are living in what many scientists are claiming is the sixth largest extinction event Earth has ever experienced, and some have even suggested renaming the Holocene to a more appropriate "Anthropocene." I would do what I can to slow this rate, not only for species' economic value, but for the intrinsic value life has in all its forms.

Graduate Research Topic
To improve our understanding of Common Map Turtle habitat, status, and movement in the Hudson River.

Favorite Quote
"How strange and devouring our ways must seem to those for whom living is enough." -Karsten Heuer



Michelle Volk

Michelle Volk

Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Fierke
Undergraduate Institution: SUNY College Plattsburgh (Ecology)

Links
Web Link

Graduate Research Topic
Biological Control of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. This research is performed in collaboration with Cornell's New York State Hemlock Initiative, and made possible through a grant from the Edna Bailey Susan Foundation.



Michael Whalen

mrwhalen@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Farrell and Dovciak


John Zeiger

John Zeiger

jozeiger@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Diemont