Aldridge Lab Members
Kristin Davis, M.S. Graduate Research Assistant, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
I am a master’s student working with Dr. Cameron Aldridge (CSU), Dr. Susan Skagen (USGS), and Dr. David Augustine (USDA), studying grassland birds on Colorado’s shortgrass steppe. I graduated in 2009 from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s in biology and worked on field projects in Ecuador, Puerto Rico, California and Texas before starting at CSU in the fall of 2015. I am most interested in understanding drivers of avian species’ abundance and distribution, spatial ecology, citizen science and research with direct application to conservation and management. I am currently studying the integrative effects of weather, vegetation and topography, in the context of two experimental management regimes, on the abundance and distribution of six grassland bird species breeding on the Central Plains Experimental Range in NE Colorado.
David Edmunds, Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
I am a research scientist working with Dr. Cameron Aldridge (CSU) and a team of collaborators including Dr. Dan Manier (USGS). My career began at Virginia Tech, where I earned a B.S. in wildlife sciences in 2002 and I also learned valuable field skills working on a graduate student's black bear research project. After graduation I moved to Wyoming, where I worked as a field technician for two years studying black and grizzly bears, mountain lions, Greater sage-grouse, and white-tailed deer. I transitioned from a field technician to a Master's degree student at the University of Wyoming (Dept. of Veterinary Sciences) working on the white-tailed deer project in 2004. I finished my M.S. degree in 2008 and began my Ph.D. work on the same project, which I finished in 2013. My M.S. and Ph.D. work focused on the ecology and epidemiology of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a high prevalence white-tailed deer population in southeast Wyoming. My research interests include wildlife disease ecology, population dynamics, movement ecology, and population viability analyses. My current research is focused on Greater sage-grouse ecology and population dynamics.
Danny Martin, PhD Student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
I am working with Dr. Cameron Aldridge and Dr. Larissa Bailey to investigate environmental drivers of changes in reptile distributions in the Great Plains. I was employed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife for almost 7 years prior to starting my PhD in 2011. My research interests include habitat degradation/fragmentation, animal movement and habitat use, survey and monitoring methods, citizen science, and species distributions - all as they relate to conservation and land management. I am currently a Co-Chair of the Colorado Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and served for 4 years as Director-at-Large of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society.
Adrian Monroe, Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
I work with Dr. Cameron Aldridge and a team of collaborators including Dr. Dan Manier (USGS) studying Sage-grouse and sagebrush systems. I received a BS in Biology from the College of William and Mary, and went on to study wintering grassland birds in tallgrass prairie under Dr. Tim O’Connell at Oklahoma State University, where I completed my MS degree in 2010. I then pursued a PhD at Mississippi State University under Drs. Sam Riffell and James Martin, where I studied grassland birds in exotic and native warm-season pastures, finishing my dissertation in 2014. My research interests include using hierarchical models to answer questions on avian distribution and population dynamics, with applications for conservation and management. I am also interested in evaluating ecological and economic implications of agricultural practices. Learn more about my research projects and involvement as a 2015-2016 Sustainability Leadership Fellow at: http://blog.sustainability.colostate.edu/?q=monroe
Shelley Spear, MS Student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
I am a master’s student working with Dr. Cameron Aldridge in the Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL). Originally from Texas, I came to Colorado to pursue a BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, and graduated in 2011. I have been lucky to have a variety of careers outside of the field of wildlife in law, finance, oil and gas, and environmental positions. However, my love for wildlife and ecology kept calling me back! I have had the opportunity to work on analyzing data for urban bear research, participating in black bear den work in Aspen, surveying boreal toads for chytrid fungus and breeding pool presence, estimating small mammal and avian communities in willow recovery areas, conducting elk counts, and collecting stream and precipitation samples for the Loch Vale Watershed Long Term Ecological Research Program in Rocky Mountain National Park. My current research focuses on evaluating habitat and environmental factors shaping alpine avian species’ abundance and occurrence and habitat-selection by white-tailed ptarmigan at two alpine areas in Colorado, Mt. Evans and Rocky Mountain National Park. I am very excited to be working in a truly unique and diverse ecosystem.
Jennifer Timmer, PhD Student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
I grew up in rural southern Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University in 2006. I then worked on several wildlife projects with some cool critters across the southwest and midwest before attending Texas Tech University for my Master’s. I estimated the population of lesser prairie-chickens in Texas and created spatially-explicit models to explain lek density. I started my PhD under Dr. Cameron Aldridge and Dr. Maria Fernandez-Gimenez (FRS) in Jan. 2013. I will examine how several sagebrush fauna respond to habitat structure within the current rangeland management framework, and determine how to revise this framework to incorporate wildlife habitat structure if needed. I am interested in spatial ecology and how landscape features at a local and large scale influence species’ demography. I am also interested in applying this information towards wildlife and range management.
Joanne Saher, Research Associate, NREL, Colorado State University
I began my research career in the Canadian Rockies, studying the movement and habitat use patterns of grizzly bears and wolves. After seven years in the mountains, I opted for a change of scenery and headed to the prairies where I worked on a project investigating the habitat use patterns of greater sage-grouse. After years of field work, I finally embarked on a graduate degree at the University of Alberta studying habitat selection of woodland caribou during winter and along migratory pathways. Shortly after finishing my degree, I moved to Fort Collins where I began work as a contract statistician and habitat modeler. I became a Research Associate at NREL in 2009 and have worked primarily on Gunnison sage-grouse habitat modeling and conservation issues. My current research interests include habitat modeling and conservation planning for at risk species.
Sara Simonson, Research Associate, NREL, Colorado State University
I work as a project coordinator with the Aldridge Lab and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. Since completing my MS degree at Colorado State University in butterfly conservation and ecology, I have worked on a variety of research projects on mapping plant and animal species distributions, and evaluation of methods for field data collection and data synthesis. As a graduate student in the Watershed Science program, I am particularly interested in distributions of native and non-native plant species in space and time, and the patterns of natural and human disturbances affecting biodiversity in mountain snow systems.
Nick Van Lanen, PhD Student, NREL, Colorado State University
I grew up in Wisconsin and graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. I have worked on avian research projects in seven U.S. states spanning a variety of topics including breeding, stop-over, migratory, and wintering population status and behavior of songbirds, raptors, and gamebirds since 2001. In addition, I spent eighteen months as an interpretive naturalist on the Georgia coast. I returned to school in 2008 and in the spring of 2010 received a M.S. from Colorado State University for research investigating the potential competitive interaction between Northern Spotted and Barred Owls. After graduate school I started working for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies as a full-time Biologist where I continue to work today. My Biologist duties at the Bird Conservancy include program development, conservation delivery, data analyses, and reporting, while I oversee the Bird Conservancy’s avian monitoring efforts throughout Wyoming and in Idaho. I joined Dr. Cameron Aldridge’s lab in the fall of 2016 with the hope of obtaining a PhD in Ecology while exploring bird-habitat relationships for avian species occurring in the pinyon-juniper and sagebrush ecotone. Through this effort, I hope to develop a landscape-scale management plan to maximize both sagebrush-obligate and pinyon-juniper-associated species throughout the range of the Greater Sage-grouse.
Greg Wann, PhD Student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
In 2007 I began working for Dr. Cameron Aldridge as a research technician in the Gunnison Basin. In 2012 I completed my masters degree in ecology with Dr. Cameron Aldridge and Dr. Tom Hobbs acting as my graduate advisors. My project focused on modeling population demographics of white-tailed ptarmigan using long-term data for birds studied in central Colorado. I have continued to work with white-tailed ptarmigan for my PhD, but my interest has shifted towards examining the role that plant and insect phenology play in influencing seasonal fecundity of ptarmigan. I feel very fortunate to be spending my time as a graduate student working in alpine habitats with ptarmigan.
Shawna Zimmerman, MS Student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
I am a master’s student working under Dr. Cameron Aldridge (CSU) and Dr. Sara Oyler-McCance (USGS). Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, I studied biology and botany at Boise State University in Idaho earning a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, I took a detour into the world of horticulture and crop development before finding my true career calling upon working a field job for an ecologist at the Bureau of Land Management in Boise, ID. I have since landed in Colorado and chosen to pursue an advanced degree in ecology. My research involves investigating the landscape genetic vulnerability of Gunnison sage grouse.