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Toxoplasma Gondii: Antibody Prevalence And Risk Factors In Cu Boulder Students, Audrey Oweimrin 2018 University of Colorado, Boulder

Toxoplasma Gondii: Antibody Prevalence And Risk Factors In Cu Boulder Students, Audrey Oweimrin

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Worldwide parasite prevalence presents a considerable burden to human health and prosperity. As such, human parasitology is a pertinent research area to promote global public health. Toxoplasma gondii, a human parasite of public health concern, is present in many populations in most countries, including the United States. During the winter of 2017, we collected salivary samples and survey data from 400 undergraduate student volunteers at the University of Colorado Boulder to investigate: 1) if human saliva examination could be used as a valid method for determining T. gondii antibody presence; 2) the prevalence of T. gondii infection within the tested ...


Pika Response To Microhabitats On Niwot Ridge, Emily Monk 2018 University of Colorado, Boulder

Pika Response To Microhabitats On Niwot Ridge, Emily Monk

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Biodiversity is integral to healthy ecosystems, but is decreasing globally as climate changes. Indicator species like the American pika, Ochotona princeps, serve as a measure of ecosystem health and can suggest how other organisms might be impacted in the future. Pikas regulate their body temperature through behavioral changes, such as resting in cool sub-surface spaces between rocks. The range of pika occurrence has retracted from many lower elevation sites as temperatures increase; however, pikas persist in favorable microclimates and high elevations. This study compared the features of several pika territories in close proximity to understand why some remain occupied more ...


Using High-Resolution Snowpack Models To Explain Patterns Of Habitat Loss For The American Pika, Max Wasser 2018 University of Colorado, Boulder

Using High-Resolution Snowpack Models To Explain Patterns Of Habitat Loss For The American Pika, Max Wasser

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This study seeks to address the degree to which overwinter snowpack influences individual site-level occupancy of the American pika (Ochotona princeps). There is considerable, but also circumstantial evidence of the importance that snow-cover plays in insulating O. princeps from cold exposure. With future declines in snowpack projected across the range of O. princeps, this paper seeks to address the current absence of data understanding how snowpack reductions may further limit future distributions of climatically suitable pika habitat. The influence of snowpack on pikas was measured by relating the individual-level-scale of occupancy to a high-resolution snow model. The study site spans ...


Potential For Climate Induced Methane Hydrate Dissociation, Graham MacWilliams 2018 Pomona College

Potential For Climate Induced Methane Hydrate Dissociation, Graham Macwilliams

Pomona Senior Theses

Methane hydrates are frozen deposits of methane and water found in high pressure or low temperature sediments. When these deposits destabilize, large quantities of methane can be emitted into the atmosphere. This is significant to climate change because methane has 25 times more greenhouse gas potential than Carbon Dioxide. Worldwide, it is estimated there are between 2500 and 10000 gigatons of methane stored in hydrate deposits. This represents more carbon than all fossil fuels on Earth. It is estimated that between 200 and 2000 gigatons of methane are stored in hydrates in Arctic waters acutely vulnerable to greenhouse warming. Over ...


Survival, Movements, And Resource Selection Of Female White-Tailed Deer In Missouri, Chloe A. Wright 2018 University of Montana, Missoula

Survival, Movements, And Resource Selection Of Female White-Tailed Deer In Missouri, Chloe A. Wright

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Missouri are a socially and economically important game species generating annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. The last comprehensive deer study in Missouri was conducted in the 1980s – 1990s when deer populations were rapidly expanding. Since this time there has been a reduction in deer population size, declining growth rates, changes in harvest strategies, and the emergence and spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). These changes have rendered prior survival estimates outdated, and the presence of CWD requires a deeper understanding of movement patterns and space use. We were interested in providing updated deer ...


Lewis’S Woodpecker Nest Success And Habitat Selection In Cottonwood Floodplain Versus Burned Conifer Forests, William M. Blake 2018 University of Montana, Missoula

Lewis’S Woodpecker Nest Success And Habitat Selection In Cottonwood Floodplain Versus Burned Conifer Forests, William M. Blake

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Breeding habitat selection influences reproductive outcomes. Habitat selection may be adaptive and benefit populations, but it can also be maladaptive with negative consequences for populations. Understanding habitat selection and its influence on reproductive success, especially in species of concern, is critical for effective management. Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) is a Species of Concern that has experienced national population declines. We studied its abundance and reproductive success in two commonly selected breeding forest types (i.e., cottonwood floodplain and mixed-conifer burned), and nest-site characteristics (nest availability, food availability, and vegetation attributes) that have the potential to yield strong differences in ...


The Dynamic Nature Of Forage Preference And Microhistological Atlas, John J. Henderson 2018 Michigan Technological University

The Dynamic Nature Of Forage Preference And Microhistological Atlas, John J. Henderson

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

Moose, Alces alces, are among the most iconic species in the northern circumpolar temperate forests. Multiple factors influence moose density. Winter is a time of severe dietary stress for moose because deciduous trees are leafless and available forage is limited to conifers with high plant secondary metabolites or low-energy deciduous twigs. Forage preference depends on the intrinsic forage properties, abundance of forage and environmental stressors. These stressors include predation risk and severity of climate that affect forage efficiency. We examined forage preference of moose on Isle Royale National Park during winter over a ten-year period. Diet was divided into two ...


Not Gone With The Wind: Addressing Effects Of Offshore Wind Development On Bat Species In The Northeastern United States, Zara Rae Dowling 2018 UMass Amherst

Not Gone With The Wind: Addressing Effects Of Offshore Wind Development On Bat Species In The Northeastern United States, Zara Rae Dowling

Doctoral Dissertations

Development of coastal and offshore wind energy resources has the potential to add considerable renewable electricity capacity to the United States electrical grid, but could have detrimental impacts on wildlife. Land-based wind energy facilities are estimated to kill hundreds of thousands of bats every year in the United States, and could threaten population viability of some species. Little is known about the potential impacts of offshore wind development on bat populations along the North Atlantic coast, but a number of species are known to frequent marine islands or fly over the ocean during migration. This dissertation helps to characterize risks ...


Performance Of Floristic Quality Assessment In Massachusetts Forested Wetlands, Carolyn Gorss 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Performance Of Floristic Quality Assessment In Massachusetts Forested Wetlands, Carolyn Gorss

Masters Theses

In order to combat the loss of valuable wetland functions and services, federal, state and tribal governments must have the tools to accurately assess and monitor the condition of wetland ecosystems. One particular method of wetland assessment is Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA), which has been growing in popularity throughout the United States since its creation in the 1970s. FQA relies on vegetative indicators of human disturbance to assess the integrity of an ecosystem. FQA calculations are based on Coefficients of Conservatism (C-scores), professionally-assigned scores ranging from 0-10 that denote a local species' tolerance to anthropogenic disturbance. Despite increasing interest in ...


Framing Contemporary U.S. Wild Horse And Burro Management Processes In A Dynamic Ecological, Sociological, And Political Environment, J. Derek Scasta, Jacob D. Hennig, Jeffrey L. Beck 2018 University of Wyoming

Framing Contemporary U.S. Wild Horse And Burro Management Processes In A Dynamic Ecological, Sociological, And Political Environment, J. Derek Scasta, Jacob D. Hennig, Jeffrey L. Beck

Human–Wildlife Interactions

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) of 1971 established all “unbranded or unclaimed” equids on U.S. public lands as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” Today, >72,000 feral horses (Equus ferus caballus) and burros (E . asinus ; WHB) live on western U.S. public rangelands. The number of WHBs exceeds the Bureau of Land Management’s maximum Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 26,715 by a factor of approximately 2.7 and has nearly doubled from 2007–2015. The AML was set to balance WHB numbers with rangeland health and support other ...


Molecular And Evolutionary Analysis Of Cyanobacterial Taxonomic Methods, Chelsea Denise Villanueva 2018 University of North Florida

Molecular And Evolutionary Analysis Of Cyanobacterial Taxonomic Methods, Chelsea Denise Villanueva

UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Cyanobacteria are a group of photo-oxygenic bacteria found in nearly every ecosystem, but much cyanobacterial diversity, in various habitats, has yet to be explored. Cyanobacteria are often conspicuous components of photosynthetic flora, providing significant carbon and nitrogen inputs to surrounding systems. As possible primary colonizers of stone substrates not native to this region, cyanobacteria isolated from headstones may provide biogeographically informative data. An exploratory study of lichen-dominated microbial consortia, growing on headstones, was conducted to isolate and identify novel microaerophytic cyanobacteria, and resulted in the establishment of four novel cyanobacterial taxa. Phylogenetic analyses of photobionts in one tripartite lichen revealed ...


The Effects Of The Red Tide Producing Dinoflagellate, Karenia Brevis, And Associated Brevetoxins On Viability And Sublethal Stress Responses In Scleractinian Coral: A Potential Regional Stressor To Coral Reefs, David A. Reynolds 2018 University of North Florida

The Effects Of The Red Tide Producing Dinoflagellate, Karenia Brevis, And Associated Brevetoxins On Viability And Sublethal Stress Responses In Scleractinian Coral: A Potential Regional Stressor To Coral Reefs, David A. Reynolds

UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Coral cover is in decline on a global scale, with increased mortality events being attributed to a number of global and regional stressors. While the impacts of global stressors (e.g. sea surface temperature rise, ocean acidification) are well documented, there is growing interest in identifying and understanding the impacts of regional stressors. The reason for this change in focus is that regional stressors can often work in combination, sometimes synergistically, with global stressors and that stressors on a regional scale tend to be more easily mitigated by management practices. One regional stressor that impacts a myriad of marine organisms ...


Life On The Edge: Risk Of Predation Drives Selection Of Habitat And Survival Of Neonates In Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, Shannon Forshee 2018 University of Montana

Life On The Edge: Risk Of Predation Drives Selection Of Habitat And Survival Of Neonates In Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, Shannon Forshee

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Long-term viability of endangered populations requires development of effective management strategies that target the population vital rate with the highest potential to influence population trajectories. When adult survival is high and stable, juvenile recruitment is the vital rate with the greatest potential to improve population trajectories. For my thesis I examined how lactating Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep (Ovis Canadensis sierra) balance forage and predation risk during the neonatal period. I first identified resource selection strategies employed by lactating females to promote survival of neonates and then determined the primary factors affecting survival of neonates. I found lactating females selected for ...


Multiple-Use Management Of Western U.S. Rangelands: Wild Horses, Wildlife, And Livestock, Rick E. Danvir 2018 Basin Wildlife Consulting

Multiple-Use Management Of Western U.S. Rangelands: Wild Horses, Wildlife, And Livestock, Rick E. Danvir

Human–Wildlife Interactions

Since 1959, the U.S. Congress has legislated the treatment and management of wild horses (Equus ferus caballus ) and burros (E. asinus ; WHB). While the legislation has ensured WHB a place as western rangeland icons, subsequent congressional actions, in response to public lobbying, have limited federal managers’ ability to manage WHB populations under the U.S. public land multiple-use doctrine. Federal land managers tasked with managing for multiple and competing interests on public lands of the western United States must not only consider WHB habitat requirements, but also wildlife species diversity and livestock grazing. Developing multiple-use management strategies while fulfi ...


The Three Creeks Allotment Consolidation: Changing Western Federal Grazing Paradigms, Taylor Payne 2018 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

The Three Creeks Allotment Consolidation: Changing Western Federal Grazing Paradigms, Taylor Payne

Human–Wildlife Interactions

The federal government owns approximately 47% of all land in the western United States. In the state of Utah, about 64% of the land base is managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The government has historically issued permits to owners of private lands to allow the owners to graze their livestock on public lands. The permits (allotments) are generally of 10-year duration and allow for an annual season of use. In some cases, continued and repeated historical annual grazing practices may not be ideal for permit holders and their communities ...


Comparing Bird Communities Within Shrubby Transmission Line Rights-Of-Way Managed By Mowing Or By Selective Herbicide Application In Maine And New Hampshire, Kathleen P. Wadiak 2018 University of New Hampshire, Durham

Comparing Bird Communities Within Shrubby Transmission Line Rights-Of-Way Managed By Mowing Or By Selective Herbicide Application In Maine And New Hampshire, Kathleen P. Wadiak

Honors Theses and Capstones

In the northeastern U.S., thousands of miles of shrub-dominated transmission line rights-of-way (ROW) extend across the landscape and provide some of the largest and most stable shrubland habitats in the region. These ROW are used as nesting and post-fledging habitat by the region’s entire community of shrubland-dependent songbirds, but evidence for how ROW are used by songbirds that require other habitats for nesting is lacking. Mist-netting surveys conducted in regenerating clearcuts indicate that adult and fledgling mature-forest songbirds comprise a large proportion of the bird community in clearcuts during the post-fledging portion of the breeding season, a time ...


Migratory Patterns And Population Genetic Structure In A Declining Wetland-Dependent Songbird, Matthew G. DeSaix 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University

Migratory Patterns And Population Genetic Structure In A Declining Wetland-Dependent Songbird, Matthew G. Desaix

Theses and Dissertations

Understanding migratory connectivity is essential for assessing the drivers behind population dynamics and for implementing effective management in migratory species. Genetic markers provide a means to describe migratory connectivity, as well as incorporate population genetic analyses, however genetic markers can be uninformative for species with weak genetic structure. In this study, we evaluate range-wide population genetic structure and migratory connectivity in the prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea, a wetland-dependent neotropical migratory songbird, using high-resolution genetic markers. We reveal regional genetic structure between sampling sites in the Mississippi River Valley and the Atlantic Seaboard with overall weak genetic differentiation among populations (F ...


Competing Activities As Measures Of Fear And Vigilance, Ferenc Mónus 2018 University of Nyíregyháza

Competing Activities As Measures Of Fear And Vigilance, Ferenc Mónus

Animal Sentience

In animal behavioural research on vigilance, visual signs of alertness are usually used to estimate perceived risk (an internal “fear” state) of free-ranging animals. Different measures of vigilance and competing activities (e.g., predator vigilance, conspecific vigilance, feeding, food handling) provide clues for better understanding vigilance behaviour. How efficiently does an animal in a vigilant/non-vigilant posture devote attention to threats or invest in other activities, such as searching for or handling food? Several species regularly withdraw to a sheltered spot when feeding in an abundant food patch, spending short periods in complete safety. Frequencies of feeding interruptions or false-alarm ...


Infection Dynamics Of Herpesvirus In Gopher Tortoises, Joanne Saldanha 2018 University of Central Florida

Infection Dynamics Of Herpesvirus In Gopher Tortoises, Joanne Saldanha

Honors Undergraduate Theses

Gopherus polyphemus, commonly known as the Gopher Tortoise, is a dryland reptile native to the southeastern United States. It is commonly a resident of longleaf pine and dry oak sand hill habitats. It is considered a keystone species because they dig deep burrows that provide shelter to them as well as many other animals. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and disease are major threats and have caused this species to be federally listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Disease is a major threat to the gopher tortoise’s survival, and with declining populations, the need to investigate ...


Eleven Strategies For Getting Into Graduate School In Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Eric Walters 2018 Old Dominion University

Eleven Strategies For Getting Into Graduate School In Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Eric Walters

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

Getting into graduate school can be tough if you have not done your homework. I outline eleven strategies for increasing your chances of successfully being accepted into an ecology or evolutionary biology lab. Try to get good grades as an undergraduate, do well on the Graduate Record Exam (if applicable), join a lab reading group or undertake an undergraduate thesis, take time to forge relationships so you can have strong reference writers, obtain relevant work experience, author a publication, read peer-reviewed literature, attend national meetings, come up with some good research ideas, develop a relationship with a potential advisor, and ...


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