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Faculty Profile
Eliezer Gurarie

Assistant Professor

Orange horizontal rule

206 Illick Hall



PhD, University of Washington, 2008

Quantitative wildlife ecology, co-production of knowledge, animal movements, spatial ecology, habitat use, behavior, cognition, population ecology, community ecology, statistical methods, mathematical modeling, remote sensing, predator-prey interactions, wildlife disease. 

Assistant Professor

Potential graduate students or post-docs are encouraged to email me if interested in joining a dynamic and diverse research lab exploring fundamental features of wildlife ecology.

Lab website

Research summary

The world is incredibly complex and dynamic. This is true, too, for the particular biotic and abiotic environments that all animals exist in. Food resources alone can be patchy or cryptic, can appear and disappear, sometimes even run around themselves. Yet, animals manage (mainly) to navigate, survive, reproduce, and persist. At the broadest level, my research addresses the question: How!?

To that end, and with countless collaborators & students, I apply a wide range of overlapping approaches. We develop statistical tools for the analysis of animal movements, survival, and behavior. We develop and explore theoretical models to frame questions and explore scenarios. And - perhaps most importantly - we try to collect and analyze field data in insightful and creative ways.

Several major current research projects include:

  • Fate of the caribou: Migratory caribou movements, behaviors and populations, with emphasis on the effects of climate change and human development across northern Canada and Alaska. This work centers local and Indigenous knowledge and concerns, combining movement, survival and monitoring data with next generation remote sensing - of snow and ice, of vegetation, of temperatures and winds - to draw links to the dramatic demographics of an iconic species in the Arctic.

  • Cognitive movement ecology: Exploring through theory, conceptual development, and innovative empirical analysis the role that spatial memory, learning, and sociality shape the way animals use space.

  • Coexistence ecology: Drivers, mechanisms and structure of coexistence and competition (direct and apparent), with a special focus on meso-carnivores (coyote, bobcat, fisher, fox, raccoon, marten) in New York and neighboring states.

  • Predator-prey disease dynamics: What is the impact of (selective) predation of wolves on white-tailed deer in the slowing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in the upper Midwest?

  • Statistical tools: Development of analysis tools (with “fun” names like smoovemarchercyclomortTuktuTools) to facilitate ecological inference from complex data, in particularly movement and survival.

My Google Profile Page has up-to date links to peer-reviewed publications.

(formal) Education

2008 - Ph.D. in Quantitive Ecology and Resource Management at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

2000 - D.E.A. (M.S. equiv) in Environmental Geosciences at the Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement, Marseille, France

1998 - B.S./B.A. in Physics and Literature at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

Lab members

Dr. Ophélie Couriot (post-doc)

... is a wildlife ecologist focusing on the response of wildlife to global change. In particular, changes in movement behaviour of animals to human-induced changes to the climate and their environment. Ophélie investigates mechanisms across several scales: from the individual to the population, with a particular focus on barren-ground caribou in the North American Arctic.

She completed her PhD at the University of Toulouse (France) under the direction of Dr. Mark Hewison, Dr. Nicolas Morellet (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, France [INRAe] and Wildlife Ecology and Behavior [CEFS] laboratory), and Dr. Sonia Saïd (The National Office of Hunting and Wildlife [ONCFS]), studying the impacts of spatiotemporal variation in resource and risk distribution on movement and activity patterns of two large lowland herbivore species in Europe: roe deer and red deer.

Current Graduate Advisees

Chloe BeaupreChloe Beaupre

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Gurarie
  • Area of Study: Environmental Biology

Personal Statement
Chloe is pursuing a PhD in Dr. Gurarie’s lab. She is fascinated by movement ecology and her goal is to pursue research that fills information gaps and can be applied to important management actions. Chloe recently relocated to Syracuse from Colorado’s Western Slope after finishing a dual degree (Master in Environmental Management, Master of Science in Ecology), where she studied the influence of recreation on deer and elk and how many GPS collars to deploy to map migration and distribution at the population level for a slew of Colorado’s ungulate species.

Ekaterina KhadonovaEkaterina Khadonova

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Gurarie
  • Area of Study: Environmental Biology

Personal Statement
I am currently a masters student in Dr. Gurarie's Wildlife Ecology lab exploring various aspects of environmental biology. Prior to commencing my SUNY ESF journey, I obtained my degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, where I got a chance to work across a variety of ecosystems, including Maine coast and islands, Costa Rica, and my home, Russia. My main goal is to work on protecting complex systems that sustain endangered and threatened species. I am passionate about bringing together the human and wildlife dimensions of conservation, which I attempt to accomplish through combining field research, modeling, policy, and public outreach for the projects I am involved with.

Graduate Research Topic
Examining the impacts of selective predation by wolves on the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer in the western Great Lakes Region by developing and analyzing a spatially explicit, predator-prey-disease model informed by monitoring and behavioral data on deer and wolves, including human interventions (e.g., harvest).

Favorite Quote
“Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.” ― Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

Sydney OpelSydney Opel

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Gurarie
  • Area of Study: Environmental & Forest Biology

Personal Statement
Sydney is a Master's student in Elie Gurarie's lab with an interest in carnivore conservation and ecology. Her goal is to seek a better understanding of movement, behavior and trophic interactions of carnivores to aid in the protection and conservation of carnivores in their native habitats.

Megan PerraMegan Perra

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Gurarie
  • Area of Study: Environmental Biology

Personal Statement
Megan is a PhD student in the Gurarie lab interested in how biological cues like soundscapes and interspecific vocalizations influence movement decision making in caribou. More simply: Do caribou eavesdrop on the soundscape to help them find good habitat patches? She completed her masters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she studied caribou auditory physiology and the soundscapes of the Arctic Coastal Plain.