Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Research
Virtually all of the research conducted by the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation is conducted to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the conservation and ecology of wildlife, habitats, and natural systems. Within this scope, faculty and students in the Department are engaged in a wide breadth of research activities, at spatial scales ranging from microhabitats to global phenomena, evaluating levels of organization ranging from molecular genetics to ecosystem responses, assessing temporal scales ranging from rapid behavioral responses to multi-generational consequences, and working with taxa ranging from plant species, to invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. This work is generating new knowledge that also spans significant breadth, including the ecology of wildlife populations, conservation of wildlife habitats, human perspectives on conservation, approaches to managing ecofriendly human communities, spatial dynamics of natural populations, behavioral ecology, plant-animal interactions, and a diverse suite of other topics. Departmental research programs are directed by a wide breadth of drivers, including intellectual curiosity, conservation need, funding availability, opportunistic occurrences, knowledge gaps, institutional capacity, stakeholder needs, research paradigms, and a diverse suite of other factors. The research done by the Department geographically ranges from the University campus in Gainesville to the mountains of Asia.
This breadth of research makes it challenging to characterize and bound the Department’s programs in a simplistic framework. Moreover, the Department’s research enterprise is a highly organic and dynamic entity, combining long-term directed efforts with transitions into new and emerging cutting edge topics. In attempt to characterize the general flavor of the type and breadth of research activities in the Department, here programs are categorized into five broad and overlapping categories (Conservation Biology, Spatial Ecology, Wildlife Conservation and Management, Wetlands Ecology and Conservation, and Human Dimensions in Wildlife Conservation). Rather than a comprehensive look at all the Department research, this overview presents a sampling of activities to provide a general snapshot of the types of research the Department is engaged in.