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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 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
  • Stewart Diemont; sdiemont@esf.edu
    systems ecology, ecological engineering, traditional ecological knowledge, Latin America, ecosystem restoration, sustainability analysis, natural wastewater treatment systems and re-use, less-developed countries, agroecology
  • Martin Dovciak; mdovciak@esf.edu
    Plant Ecology, Forest Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Global Change, Ecosystem Management and Restoration
  • John M. Farrell; jmfarrell@esf.edu
    Fisheries Science and Management, Aquatic Ecology, Wetlands Restoration, Invasive Species.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

EFB Graduate Study Links

Learn More


Current Graduate Students in Conservation Biology


Current Students Only currently registered students appear — new names appear at start of academic year


Mariano Arias

Mariano Arias

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

Personal Statement
I majored in Zoology in Argentina, and earned an MSc for working towards the conservation of native ecosystems in productive landscapes. My practice as an environmental consultant took me on extended tours through the wild side of some of the most important natural landscapes of Argentina: the Patagonian deserts, the Andes mountains, the Iberá wetlands, and the subtropical forests in Misiones.

Graduate Research Topic
My current research takes place across the Finger Lakes and the Adirondack Mountains in New York State, and aims to understand the role and importance of ants in the dispersal of forest wildflowers and in the recovery of the herbaceous layer in secondary forests.



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.



Julie Capito

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


Shawn Cleveland

Shawn Cleveland

smclevel@syr.edu
ESC Environmental Monitoring
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Underwood

Graduate Research Topic
My current research, and dissertation topic, is focused on the influence of climate induced snow cover variability and its corresponding impact on behavioral ecology and trophic interactions of snowshoe hare and fisher.



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



Bobbetta Davis

bodavis@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Schulz


Kaya DeerInWater

kdeerinw@syr.edu
EFB 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



Kristyn Ehleben

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


Jacob Erle

Jacob Erle

jcerle@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Leopold
Undergraduate Institution: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Environmental Biolog)

Graduate Research Topic
Assessing impacts of removing European buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica, in neighborhood parks in the City of Syracuse



Joseph Goergen

jdgoerge@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Belant


Natia Javakhishvili

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


Olivia Kurz

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


Dan Li

dli126@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Belant


Jade Little

jlittl01@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Diemont


Taylor Luken

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


Timothy Morris

Timothy Morris

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

Personal Statement
I am currently a Ph.D student in the Fierke lab working on the long term biocontol of the emerald ash borer. As introduced parasitoids are established across New York State we must assess their ecological impacts over time. My current projects include assessing the distribution of biocontrol agents across the urban gradient, and constructing EAB lifetables in aftermath forests.

Graduate Research Topic
Emerald ash borer and associated parasitoids



Sarah Olney

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


Alex Petzke

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


Jessica Proctor

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


Julia Rizzo

jrrizzo@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): McNulty and McGee


Leah Rubin

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


Daisy de Fatima Sanchez Mosqueda

Daisy de Fatima Sanchez Mosqueda

dsanch15@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Frair
Undergraduate Institution: ( )

Personal Statement
From Iquitos, the capital of the biggest "state" of Peru, which is part of the Amazon rainforest and contains one of the highest levels of biodiversity in South America. I'm a Fulbright and Concytec grantee Master's student in Environmental & Forest Biology. My background includes wildlife monitoring (using invasive and non-invasive sampling methods for terrestrial and aquatic mammals, primates, alligators, birds, and bats) in the tropical rainforests of Peru and part of the Andes Amazon region. My focus is on wildlife conservation, particularly mammal research. I also have experience in field work in extreme conditions with indigenous communities and rural citizens as part of different projects launched in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. My research interests center on wild cats and their prey, understanding their inter- and intraspecific interactions, and human-wildlife conflicts.

Favorite Quote
“YOU cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around YOU. What YOU do makes a difference, and YOU have to decide what kind of difference YOU want to make.” Jane Goodall (:



Fate Syewoangnuan

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


Michael Whalen

Michael Whalen

mrwhalen@syr.edu
Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): and Dovciak
Undergraduate Institution: Colby College

Links
My Photography: https://www.instagram.com/mr.zarfos/

Personal Statement
At ESF I study the relationships between acid rain, beech bark disease, and plant and bird community composition in Adirondack hardwood forests. I am enrolled in the MA of international relations program at Syracuse University, where I focus on international security. My volunteering efforts are dedicated to improving land conservation in my home town of Deep River CT. I enjoy producing nature and landscape photography in my free time.