US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Quresh Latif

Researcher Ecologist
1648 South 7th Avenue
United States

Phone: 406-994-3002
Fax: 406-994-5916
Contact Quresh Latif

Current Research

1. Applying and evaluating habitat suitability models and occupancy models to describe and understand cavity nesting and other forest bird distributions in relation to large-scale disturbance, forest management activities, and climate change.

2. Differences in avian community responses to natural forest disturbance and management treatment with varying historic disturbance regime.

3. Simulation-based evaluation of statistical power and sampling design for occupancy-based analysis of regional trends in white-headed woodpeckers of the Pacific Northwest.

4. Development of GIS-based tools to apply habitat suitability models for inform management plans with habitat conservation goals for disturbance-associated woodpeckers (collaboration with J. Haas and V. Saab).

5. Factors influencing snag persistence and implications for disturbance-associated woodpeckers following mountain pine beetle outbreak.

Research Interests

1. Application of ecological models to inform conservation and management of sensitive species.


2. Coupling data analysis with simulations to improve inferences made from ecological models.

3. Methodological and analytical approaches to monitoring populations and communities.


4. Factors influencing avian nest site selection, nest predation risk, and brood parasitism.


5. Causes and consequences of habitat selection by animals.

Past Research

1. Evaluation and refinement of nest habitat suitability models for white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests using multiple spatially and temporally independent datasets (manuscript published).

2. Review of literature examining ecological consequences of mountain pine beetle outbreaks for wildlife (co-authored manuscript published).

3. Use of ensemble modeling to predict nest habitat suitability for black-backed woodpeckers (manuscript published).

4. Arthropod community dynamics in relation to mustard invasion in the Coachella Valley, CA (co-authored manuscript published).

5. Nest site selection and nest predation dynamics for Yellow Warblers in the Mono Lake basin (dissertation research; 4 manuscripts published in various journals).


  • University of California, Riverside, Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. Dissertation topic: Nest-site selection and predation dynamics for an open-cup nesting songbird, the Yellow Warbler. 2009
  • University of California, Davis, B.S. Wildlife ecology and conservation 1998

Professional Experience

  • post-doctoral researcher, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service
    2011 - Current
    This position involves developing species distribution models and occupancy models for forest woodpeckers and bird communities. I work with various types of habitat suitability models to analyze environmental relationships with species occurrence and estimate species distributions. I also develop occupancy models in both Bayesian and frequentist frameworks to analyze habitat relationships and population trends for individual species or bird community responses to large-scale disturbance (fire, mountain pine beetle outbreak, and logging). In the course of this work, I have developed familiarity and expertise with statistical analysis in R, development of Bayesian models in WinBUGS, and projection of model outputs using GIS software. I have advised design of a long-term effectiveness monitoring study as part of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) to examine wildlife responses to forest management treatments. I have also provided guidance, advice, feedback, and training in implementation of analytic techniques to graduate students. In addition to research, I am developing and populating Access databases to organize, store, and improve data accessibility.
  • post-doctoral researcher, Center for Conservation Biology, U.C. Riverside
    2010 - 2011
    This position involved the study of species of conservation concern under the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. I focused much of my time on analyzing burrowing distributional data using both occupancy models and presence-only distribution modeling techniques. I also conducted surveys of animal and plant species, including endangered species, in aeolian sand habitats for population and community monitoring under the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. Survey techniques employed included surveying vertebrates by censusing their tracks, pitfall trapping for sampling arthropods, quadrat sampling for plant surveys, and measurement of sand compaction using a sand penetrometer. I also developed and populated a database to store the data from these surveys and developed analytic approaches to answer research questions of concern for adaptive management of protected species. Data analyses were carried out using various software: R, ArcGIS, Presence, and MaxEnt.

Awards & Recognition

  • Certificate of Merit, 2014
    Awarded for developing relational databases for more than twenty years of data collected for the Birds and Burns Network across the Interior West and for regional monitoring of White-headed Woodpeckers in the Inland Northwest. $750.
  • Travel Award, 2009
    Student Travel Award for the ESA annual meeting
  • Travel Award, 2009
    Student Travel Award for the AOU/COS joint meeting
  • Research Grant, 2008
    Distinguished Fellowship in Biology (UCR Biology Department)
  • Research Grant, 2007
    Mono Basin Bird Chautaqua Grant (Mono Lake Committee)
  • Research Grant, 2007
    Dissertation Research Grant (UC Riverside)
  • Equipment Grant, 2002
    Partners in Flight grant for nest-monitoring video camera systems

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Last updated on : 05/24/2016