Aubry Lab Population Ecology in a Changing World

Quantitative Ecology

Lise Aubry, Associate Professor 
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU Graduate Program in Ecology

I am originally from Southern France and received a BS and MSc degrees from the Universite Paul Sabatier (France). I conducted my dissertation work at the Max Plank Institute for demographic research (Germany) where I studied life history trade-offs and senescence in vertebrates. I then moved to Utah State University to pursue postdoctoral research with a focus on wildlife management and human-wildlife conflicts. I then expanded my research program to include climate change impacts on wildlife. I moved to Colorado State University in 2017 to join the Fish Wildlife & Conservation Biology department where I receive tenure in 2021.

Shelley Nelson, PhD student

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU 

Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. 

[email protected]

Originally from Texas, I came to Colorado to pursue a BS in Wildlife Biology from CSU and graduated in 2011. I recently finished my master’s degree at CSU and had the opportunity to conduct research on identifying fine-scale factors affecting habitat selection by white-tailed ptarmigan in Colorado’s gorgeous alpine. 

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! My current research will focus on the dynamics, interactions, and conflicts between humans and black bears (see research section).

Support: CSU graduate research fellowship

Rachel Kanaziz, MS student

Co-advisor: Dr. Kate Huyvaert

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU

Graduate Degree Program in Ecology 

I completed my undergraduate studies at Adrian College with a BA in Biology, Environmental Science, and English. I have conducted soil research at NCSU and habitat research at Adrian. I also worked as a Wildlife Assistant for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Now, I am pursuing my MS here at CSU where I have a research project focused on the life strategies of small mammals. 

                                                                   Support: NSF-GRFP

Clare Ryan, Undergraduate Research Fellow (2021-Present)

Support: CSU Extension Summer Internship

Kadin Samlaska, Undergraduate Research Fellow (2022-Present)

Support: CSU Extension Summer Internship

Becky Barbier, Honors student (2020-2022)

Support: FWCB fellowship


Hannah Caracalas, Honors student (2021-2022)


I am an undergraduate student from Dallas, Texas who came to Colorado State University in 2017 to pursue a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. I am currently the Vice President of the Northern Colorado Herpetological Society where I help with education and outreach programs, as well as our reptile rescue operations. I was a Field Technician for the Colorado Checkered Whiptail project during the summer of 2019, and completed my Honors thesis project with Lise workingon the clutch size / egg size trade-offs in this all-female species. My plans for my future are to work in the fields of ecology, conservation, herpetology, and do some education work along the way!
Ryan Black, Undergraduate Research Fellow (2021-2022)

Originally from Southern California, I came to Colorado State University in 2018 to pursue a B.S. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. I am currently interning for Dr. Aubry to analyze the impacts of a large Colorado wildfire on golden mantled and Wyoming ground squirrel’s behavior and demography. I am interested in pursuing a career in wildlife ecology and studying and mitigating human-wildlife interactions around the world. I am intending on pursuing this career through graduate school while gaining technical skills domestically and internationally.

Support: CSU summer Extension Fellowship

Caitlin P. Wells, Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021)

Caitlin's approach to applied conservation and restoration biology merges evolutionary ecology, animal behavior, and conservation genomics to predict the responses of wild vertebrates to environmental change. While a postdoc in the Aubry Lab, she worked on a variety of topics centered on understanding intra- and interspecific variation in the life-histories of wild vertebrates, as applied to the persistence of small populations. This led to the publication of the following manuscripts. Caitlin is now an Assistant Professor at CSU in the Fish Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department. 

  • Wells, C.P., R. Barbier**, S. Nelson*, R. Kanaziz*, and L.M. Aubry. Life history consequences of climate change in hibernating mammals: a review. (in press, Ecography)
  • Fay, R., S. Hamel, M. van de Pol, J.-M. Gaillard, N. G. Yoccoz, P. Acker, M. Authier, B. Larue, C. Le Coeur, K. R. Macdonald, A. Nicol-Harper, C. Barbraud, C. Bonenfant, D. H. Van Vuren, E. Cam, K. Delord, M. Gamelon, M. Moiron, F. Pelletier, J. Rotella, C. Teplitsky, M. E. Visser, C. P. Wells, N. T. Wheelwright, S. Jenouvrier, and B.-E. Saether. Temporal correlations among demographic rates are ubiquitous but highly variable across species. (in press, Ecology Letters). ^middle authors alphabetical
  • Kanaziz, R.*, K. Huyvaert, C.P. Wells, D.H.Van Vuren, L.M. Aubry. 2022. Maternal survival costs in an asocial mammal. Ecology and Evolution 12(5):e8874 [cover article
  • Fay, R., M. Authier, S. Hamel, S. Jenouvrier, M. van de Pol, E. Cam, J-M. Gaillard, N. Yoccoz, P. Acker, A. Allen, L.M. Aubry, C. Bonenfant, H. Caswell, C.F.D. Coste, B. Larue, C. Le Coeur, M. Gamelon, K. MacDonald, M. Moiron, A. Nicol-Harper*, F. Pelletier, J. Rotella, C. Teplitsky, L. Touzot, Y. Vingenes, M. Vissier, C.P. Wells, B-E. Saether. 2021. Quantifying fixed individual heterogeneity in demographic parameters: Performance of correlated random effects for Bernoulli variables. Methods in Ecology & Evolution 

Douglas Eifler, Research Scientist (2018-2020)

Doug is a behavioral biologist with close to 30 years experience working with reptiles. He has graduate degrees in wildlife ecology (MS, University of Florida) and organismal biology (PhD, Harvard University). He is currently leading all field efforts on the Colorado checkered whiptail project, advising undergraduate studentS, wildlife technicians and volunteers in the field, helping them develop research projects on the behavioral ecology of whiptails. 

Samuel Hudgens, Honors student (2018-2020)

I am originally from Albuquerque New Mexico and moved to Fort Collins in 2016 to pursue a BS in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. I’m interested in conservation and carrying out research in the field. I aim to attain a graduate degree in ecology or a related science. Currently, I am assisting Shelley on a research project examining human-black bear conflicts using data from New Jersey Fish and Wildlife.

More Undergraduate Research Fellows!

(left to right)

Catherine Staley

Karina Kusaka

Rachael Pederson


Currently enrolled at CSU in our fish and wildlife program. They have been involved in our Colorado Checkered Whiptail monitoring project since spring 2018. More on their research coming up!

Caylee Falvo, MS student (2015-2018)

Caylee studied the effects of climate change on the physiology, demography, and phenology of Uinta ground squirrels. I use a combination of lab and field work to look at differences in life history strategies among populations that live at different elevations, in distinct climatic niches. She was particularly interested in life history trade-offs that involve immune function and fitness components, and how those are shaped by climate change. She received her undergraduate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular Toxicology and Molecular Environmental Biology, and is broadly interested in the way wildlife populations and communities respond to anthropogenic change.

Caylee is now a PhD student in Raina PLowright's lab at Montana State University. 

Support: USU Ecology Center, CSU grad research fellowship, Audubon Apacheria Fellowship.

Jarod Raithel, PhD (2013-2017)

Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center at USU


Research: Integrating black bear behavior, spatial ecology, and population dynamics along an anthropogenic gradient: Implications for human-black bear conflicts

Support: USU presidential fellowship, Bear Trust International, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife

Current position: Assistant Professor, Estrella Mountain Community College, AZ

Kaera Utsumi, Undergraduate Research Fellow (2018-2019)

Kaera completed her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and his about to join graduate school completed her B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She has been working as a Field Technician on the Colorado Checkered Whiptail monitoring project since spring 2018. She will be joining the graduate degree program at Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA, in the fall of 2019. (Photographed by Maria Eifler). She is herp-obsessed and is particular fond of snakes. 

Liz McAlpine-Bellis (2018-2019) 

Field Technician 

[email protected]

Liz graduated from UC Berkeley in May (evolutionary biology) and plans to pursue a research career that will take her to lots of amazing places and let her study lots of interesting animals. Her research focuses on marine invertebrate response to climate change as well as aggression and territoriality in fish, lizards, and mantis shrimp. She likes fierce creatures and hopes to continue this research for a PhD.

Janine Rose Klein (2018-2019)

Field Technician 

[email protected]

I recently graduated from UC Davis with degrees in Wildlife Conservation Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology with an emphasis in primatology. Most of the research I participated in during my undergraduate career involved the behavior and movement of different species of lizards. I hope to soon pursue graduate work in this or a related field. My research interests include behavioral ecology, conservation biology, social networks in group-living species, and behavioral syndromes.

Rebecca John (2018-2019)

Field Technician 

[email protected]

I am an ecologist and herpetologist at heart. I earned my undergrad degree in Environmental Science and Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz and my master’s degree in Wildlife Sciences from Auburn University. I have been lucky enough to have travelled around the US (and beyond) working with tortoise, lizards, salamanders, bats, small mammals, fish, and more. My research interests are extensive and include natural history, behavior, ecology, biogeography, and movements.

Kari Norman, Undergraduate Research Quinney Fellow (2014-2015)

Research: A hibernator’s response to climate change: ecological drivers of persistence in the Uinta ground squirrel.

Support: URCO (Undergraduate Research Creative Opportunity), 

National Geographic Explorer grant (to PI, Lise Aubry)

Current position: Kari moved to Berkeley to start a PhD position in the Boettiger Lab supported by an NSF graduate fellowship.

Lucas Henzler, Undergraduate Research Fellow (2014-2015)

Lucas helps collect phenological, demographic, physiological and genetic information on Uinta ground squirrels at three different elevations representative of three different climate niches. His contribution eventually evolved into an undergraduate research project where Lucas .... 

Location: Logan Canyon, UT

Support: USU-URCO (Undergraduate Research Creative Opportunity) recipient.

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