Conservation Ecology Lab; quantitative wildlife ecology and conservation science
Welcome to the Conservation Ecology Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University
. We work on applied wildlife and conservation research in Ohio’s deciduous forests, mountains of the Pacific Northwest and California, Romanian Carpathians, and subtropical China. Our research interests are diverse, spanning mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and we use a variety of experimental, observational and computational approaches that are problem-solving oriented. For example, we work on sustainability of carnivore trophy hunting and efficacy of protected areas in Romania, evaluating impacts of roads on reptiles and mammals in Ohio, exploring trade-offs between renewable energy and biodiversity conservation in British Columbia, and evaluating the effects of multiple stressors on amphibian populations.
LATEST NEWS!!! (also check out the NEWS page for updates)
HUGE CONGRATS to all my lab members; they rocked the grant and job world! After spending a semester writing grants and research proposals, March 2017 proved to be the best month of my year at Ohio University… when it rains, it pours:
– MSc student Cassie Thompson won a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her research on amphibians and climate change
– MSc student Heidi Bencin was awarded an OCEES (Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies) Fellowship, which provides stipend and teaching relief for Fall 2017; she was also awarded a $6K Student Enhancement Award (a competitive Ohio University research grant) for her work on bobcat ecology and management
– MSc student Marcel Weigand was awarded a $6K Student Enhancement Award as well for her work on turtle ecology and roadways
– Honors student Mackenzie Rich will start a 6-month wildlife internship with The Wilds, part of Columbus Zoo
– We were awarded a substantial grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to conduct a 4-year research project on bobcat population ecology and management
– … last, but not least, we are welcoming a new member to our lab: Matt Kaunert will join our research group in August 2017 as a PhD student, and will work on a hellbender ecology project (with Dr. Steve Spear at The Wilds
GO BOBCATS! Mackenzie Rich, Honors Tutorial College undergraduate and Cassandra Thompson, MSc student, ran a camera trapping study to evaluate the composition and distribution of Ohio’s terrestrial carnivore community, with a focus on Ohio University favorite, BOBCATS!
Beetles and more! Bekka Brodie and colleagues from University of Bucharest, Romania, surveyed endangered saproxylic beetles in traditionally maintained landscapes in SW Romania using pheromone traps as a form of rapid biodiversity monitoring
Wildlife road mortality mitigation: OU undergraduates Devon Cottrill, Jeff Roush, and Nicole Dake spent 2 months surveying whitetail deer using remote cameras and pellet counts along US Highway 33 in SE Ohio to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation structures for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions
Prospective graduate students: If you are interested in being part of my lab at Ohio University, please send me: (A) a short statement about yourself and your research interests (background, goals/ambitions, why Ohio University), (B) your resume or CV, and (C) your GPA and GRE scores.
The main research directions in the lab are: (1) amphibian ecology and conservation, (2) carnivore ecology and conservation, and (3) spatial conservation planning, but incoming students may to develop their own projects focused on other conservation topics of interests.
Dr. Viorel D. Popescu
Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology
Dept. of Biological Sciences
423 Irvine Hall
Athens, OH 45701