My research can broadly be divided into two areas: one is exploring new genetic tools and technologies and their applicability to questions of species distribution and population dynamics. The other is applying existing genetic techniques to our and our partners' wildlife studies. Much of the research I am involved in aides managers and other researchers by using genetic tools to help detect and monitor rare/elusive species. Our work spans many different species, but among them are lynx, wolverine, fisher, cougar, Italian wolves, mountain beaver and several ungulate species.
I am interested in using genetics to help monitor rare and often elusive species. I am particularly interested in the work we do using non-invasive samples to gain information and insight into many of the small populations we work with. I am very interested in issues of hybridization, and the ability to help determine where dispersing individuals (especially for large-ranging species such as cougar and wolverine) originate from.
Our laboratory has many long-term genetic data sets that allow population monitoring at the broad scale, but also in several cases we are able to aide managers by helping determine relationships of individuals in these sometimes very small populations. Our datasets on lynx have also been used in law enforcement cases.
In the past, my research has involved many different species (including bighorn sheep, pink salmon, wolves) looking at questions of population dynamics, evolutionary history and hybridization.