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PostGIS workshop: Participants

Brittany Bankovich

Brittany is a graduate of the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. She currently works as a GIS specialist/spatial analyst for the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWC FWRI).

Samantha Baraoidan

Samantha is a first-year Master's student at UF in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. She works in Raoul Boughton's Rangeland Wildlife Lab, and her thesis will focus on interactions between coyotes, cattle, and feral hogs on Florida ranches.

James Beerens

James' research program provides quantitative and spatial decision support tools to aid in the conservation of wildlife communities and ecosystems at the human- and invasive-impacted interface. Short- and long-term management, restoration, and land use decisions require an understanding of species-habitat relationships so that actions promote resiliency to human caused ecological change; now decoupled from the pace of adaptations that happen through natural selection. For these reasons, Beerens' studies species-habitat relationships and physical drivers of habitat change to inform natural resource management and facilitate resilient responses to rapid change. In his program, the use of species distribution models provides spatial approaches to practical conservation to detect species sensitivity to habitat change. He uses competing hypotheses, guided by behavioral ecology, to drive selection of abiotic and biotic environmental drivers of animal ecology and the latest statistical methods to obtain inference. He previously worked for the South Florida Water Management District where he studied wetland community responses to nutrient enrichment as well as developed ecological models of indicator species (e.g., wading birds) to inform water management. He also worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute developing habitat suitability models to guide management of Florida’s imperiled species. A suite of his wading bird models (WADEM) have been applied to forecast potential wildlife responses to Everglades restoration and climate change.

Robinson Botero Arias

Robinson (Robin) comes from Colombia, but in the last 10 year, he has lived in Brazil. This is his first year as PhD student at WEC-UF. He is a Biologist, with a master degree in Ecology. He is also member of the Crocodilians Specialist Group CSG-IUCN. Robin works with Amazon caimans, with focus in population ecology, conservations and management strategies.

Raoul Boughton

Raoul is an Assistant Professor at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research Station in Ona, FL (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department), running the Rangeland Wildlife & Ecology Program. The program focuses on directed research and extension to promote conservation, maintenance, and improvement of rangelands, with an emphasis on wildlife. Current studies include wild pig and coyote movement patterns and interactions with cattle, burrowing owl habitat use, population dynamics and response to disturbances, and rangeland management techniques.

Sarah Cooke

Sarah is a Master's student in the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment, working with Dr. Frank Mazzotti at FLREC. Her interests are the spatial ecology of invasive reptiles, but she assists on several projects in the Mazzotti lab, working with American crocodiles and alligators, invasive Argentine black and white tegus, and Burmese pythons.

Dan Evans

Dan is a PhD student in the UF Wildlife and Conservation Ecology Department. He is part of the USFWS Coop Unit at UF and is working with Dr. Ray Carthy. Dan's research is using satellite telemetry to determine migration pathways and habitat use by marine turtles, and using online maps of sea turtle movements as an educational tool to raise awareness about sea turtle conservation.

Catherine Frock

Cat is generally interested in questions in behavioral landscape ecology (especially animal movement) and conservation biology. She has conducted field work on multiple taxa in a variety of ecosystems ranging from African deserts to Alaskan rainforests, often with a focus on special status species. She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University in 2009. Her M.S. research with Dr. Monica Turner (University of Wisconsin-Madison) investigated the effects of microhabitat conditions versus landscape patterns on small mammal foraging in burned and unburned conifer forests. She is currently a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Bob McCleery (Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida) and Dr. Mike Conner (Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center) on a NSF-funded project to link fine-scale fox squirrel movement data collected by GPS collars and environmental data collected by NEON, Inc. at the Jones Center in GA and the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station in FL.

Katie Haase

Katie is a PhD student at the University of Florida working with Dr. Robert Fletcher in the Department Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and Dr. Dan Slone of the USGS Sirenia Project. She is primarily interested in animal behavior in response to landscape patterns of environmental temperature. Her research focuses on the effects of the spatial configuration of thermal and forage habitats on activity time and habitat use of the Florida manatee.

Steve Hartley

Stephen is responsible for the installation, configuration, and overall maintenance of software, hardware, and networking for geographic information system operations. His specific duties include managing and coordinating GIS projects, performing image analysis, developing prototype GIS products, troubleshooting, quality control, personnel management and training, and interacting with clients. Stephen serves as WARC's GAP coordinator for Louisiana.

Harrison Jones

Harrison is a graduating Master's student at UF in the Sieving lab (Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation) who will be starting a PhD position in the Biology Department next fall, co-advised by Drs. Scott Robinson and Todd Palmer. His research interests lie in applied behavioral ecology of birds, and he hopes to conduct field research in the Colombian Andes focusing on the conservation value of mixed-species flocks of birds and methods to conserve this behavior in fragmented landscapes, investigating factors that influence the movement of these flocks across the landscape.

Julien Martin

Julien is a Research Wildlife Biologist at the US Geological Survey-Southeast Ecological Science Center. He obtained a PhD in the department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. He is a courtesy assistant professor: (1) in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida; and (2) in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. His expertise includes: estimation of demographic parameters, population dynamics and the application of decision theory to natural resource management.

Tessie Offner

Since 2013 Tessie has worked for FWC's non-native species program, primarily with a population of Argentine black and white tegus in central Florida. She is continuing her research at UF in pursuit of a master's degree in the department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.

Brett A. Patton

Brett is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and part-time graduate student at Louisiana State University. She has a keen interest in community ecology and studying the vegetation and hydrologic influences on waterbird use, particularly in estuarine wetland and barrier island habitats. She just successfully defended her thesis "Living on the Edge: An Assessment of the Habitat use of Waterbirds in Estuarine Wetlands of Barataria Basin, LA" and will graduate in August. Upon graduation, she will continue her work as an ecologist with the USGS.

Caroline Poli

Caroline spent 12 years as a traveling field ecologist before returning to school to earn a master's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology at Clemson University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology. Her research focuses on understanding how birds respond to dynamic environments, and she is particularly interested in investigating the extent to which short-term stressors impact individual movement patterns and influence the spatial ecology of long-lived species.

Brian Smith

Brian is a Master's student in WEC, advised by Dr. Christina Romagosa. He has been working out of the FLREC for 5-1/2 years—first as a technician and now as a graduate student—studying the invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park. Brian's research involves GPS-tagging Burmese pythons and studying their fine-scale movement ecology.

Bethany Wight

Bethany is a research biologist for Raoul Boughton at UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research Station in Ona, FL. She is covering all research and extension aspects of the lab's work from trapping and telemetry projects, to using a drone to collect aerial imagery, to creating factsheets and the lab's website, to prescribed burns.

Elizabeth White

Elizabeth is a PhD student studying Florida Burrowing Owls in Raoul Boughton's lab. She will be comparing the biology and space use of adults in urban and rural habitats. She received her MS from university of Florida in December 2014. She is originally from Minneapolis, MN and came to Florida by way of Upstate New York and New England.

Ke Zhang

Ke is a master student in the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department of the University of Florida. His research interest is spatial ecology, with a current focus on coyote home range, habitat selection and spatial interaction with cattle in Florida.