Welcome to the Quantitative Wildlife Ecology Lab, led by Rahel Sollmann in the Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology Department at UC Davis. We develop and apply statistical models to study the ecology and conservation of wildlife populations and communities.
Why quantitative ecology?
Understanding how environmental parameters influence the demography, habitat use and distribution of species and communities, and how anthropogenic impacts interact with these processes, is crucial to inform wildlife management and conservation. At the same time, surveying wildlife is fraught with challenges: difficult terrain and uncooperative study subjects often make for sparse data and biased sampling. To make reliable inference from such data, we need models that can separate information about the ecological patterns and processes of interest from the sampling process. Hierarchical statistical modeling is the tool of choice for that task. We use this framework to analyze wildlife survey data collected with a variety of methods, from live-trapping to non-invasive DNA collection, with the ultimate aim to contribute to science-based wildlife conservation and management.