Lots of updates happening this year in the lab!

New papers: Sarah B., Olivia, and Beth have all lead new papers this year. Sarah B.’s paper will be coming out in Ecological Applications soon and looks at how the information we obtain from camera traps compares to that from GPS collars. Olivia’s paper is out in Scientific Reports and focuses on data collected by volunteers during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns to examine the impacts of changes in human activity on birds. And Beth’s paper is out in Ecology showing how to incorporate explicit movement processes into spatial capture recapture models.

New lab members: This fall we are so excited to welcome Marcela Todd and Eve Hallock to the lab. Marcela is working on how human recreation impacts wildlife species in Washington State Parks. Eve’s research focuses on sea birds in Tetiaroa; Eve has been collecting data for a number of possible projects since February. Look for more on these two rising stars in the lab members section soon!

Beth is starting her sabbatical (Sept 16, 2022 – June 15, 2023) and will spend the year in Pittsburgh hopefully learning a lot more about models for bioacoustics data and how to program in python. Beth will be working with Justin Kitzes group at the University of Pittsburgh. Beth was also awarded a Global Fellowship from the University of St. Andrews and is excited to spend a month there during her sabbatical.


Olivia Sanderfoot is now Dr. Sanderfoot – she did an amazing job defending her PhD. And the morning after her defense, she had a new paper accepted at Environmental Research Letters….more on that soon! Olivia will be in the lab until the end of the year and then she is off to make the world a better place. We will miss so many things about Olivia, but her passion for birds, kindness, and integrity are some things I will miss the most!

Big congrats to Robbie Emmet as he successfully defended his PhD and is now officially Dr. Emmet! Robbie already started his post-doc — we will miss him in the lab, but look forward to celebrating all his future successes!!

Beth is a co-author on a new paper at Ecology with lead author Brett McClintock that examines how to integrate movement models with SCR. This is part of a new special feature coming out later this year at Ecology!

Robbie Emmet has a new paper provisionally accepted at Ecology developing a new SCR model for group living species! Robbie’s paper will be part of the special feature on movement and SCR models in Ecology.

Olivia Sanderfoot had a paper published at Ornithological Applications looking at how smoke affects our ability to detect birds – you can find it here. Olivia did a great job with outreach too and you can find stories about the paper from Science Daily, UW SEFS, KNKX public radio, and others!

Robbie Emmet had a paper published at Ecosphere on multiscale occupancy models for monitoring wolverines – check it out here.

Beth is co-author on a new paper with lead author Staci Amburgey accepted at Ecological Applications looking at monitoring unmarked species with camera traps.


This year was different and challenging and while a number of projects were affected in our lab, there is some good news to celebrate. And I’m sure that there is more news than this, but here are a few of the highlights!

-Sierra Gillman (PhD student), Jamie Brusa (post-doc), Kaeli Swift (post-doc), Lisanne Petracca (post-doc co-advised with Sarah Converse) all joined the lab in 2020.

-Robbie Emmet, Sarah Bassing, and Olivia Sanderfoot all passed their General Exams in 2020!!

-Olivia Sanderfoot launched a very successful new community science project (using eBird) to look at the effects of pandemic lockdowns on backyard birds – over 800 people volunteered!!

-Sarah Bassing and Trent Roussin pulled off a full field season despite the pandemic and with no health and safety issues at all. Thanks as well to all of our great volunteers too!!

-Robbie Emmet and Beth both presented (virtually) at the ISEC 2020 conference in summer. Beth also presented (virtually) at the ESA 2020 conference in summer).

-Olivia Sanderfoot was named to the Husky 100 this year!! And Olivia has started a new citizen science program, see here for details:

-Nathan Hostetter, former PhD student in the Gardner lab, has a new paper from work during his PhD coming out in Diversity and Distributions entitled “Quantifying spatiotemporal occupancy dynamics and multi-year core use areas at a species range boundary”.


-Robbie Emmet, Sarah Bassing, Olivia Sanderfoot, Sam Zwicker, and Beth all presented at the annual Wildlife Society Meeting in Reno, NV in October. The meeting was an overall success. Sarah also won a travel award to attend the meeting!!

– Mike Cove, former PhD student in the Gardner lab, has a new paper from his PhD coming out in Biological Conservation titled: “Towards recovery of an endangered island endemic: distributional and behavioral responses of Key Largo woodrats associated with exotic predator removal”

-Beth was part of two new student led papers:
One from Mitch Parsons, a student in Laura Prugh’s lab:  Parsons, M.A., Lewis, J.C., Gardner, B., Chestnut, T., Ransom, J.I., Werntz, D., and Prugh, L.R.  Habitat selection and spatiotemporal interactions of a reintroduced mesocarnivore. 2019.  Journal of Wildlife Management.

The other is paper by Allison Sussman, a student Elise Zipkin’s lab at MSU: Sussman, A., Gardner, B., Adams, E., Salas, L., Kenow, K., Luukkonen, D., Monfils, M., Mueller, W., Williams, K., Leduc-Lapierre, M., Zipkin, E.F.  A comparative analysis of common methods to identify waterbird hotspots. 2019. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

-The Euring proceedings was published in January 2019 as a joint special feature in MEE and E&E.  Beth served as an editor for this special feature and is happy to finally have it published!

-Sarah Bassing has a new paper out in JWM from her masters work entitled, “Stable pack abundance and distribution in a harvested wolf population”.


-Nathan Hostetter, former PhD student in the Gardner lab, has a new paper from his PhD coming out in Ecosphere entitled “An integrated model decomposing the components of detection probability and abundance in unmarked populations”.

-Check out Olivia Sanderfoot’s Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times this summer:

-Sarah Bassing was selected as the John Pierce Outsanding Graduate Student Award, Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife
Research Unit (2018)

-Robbie was just awarded a 2018-2019 Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Fellowship.

-New paper on open spatial capture recapture models will be coming out later this year:  Gardner, B., Sollmann, R., Kumar, N.S.,  Jathanna, D. and Karant, K.U. State-space and movement specification in open population spatial capture-recapture models.  Ecology and Evolution.

-Earlier this year, Olivia received an honorable mention in the 2018 Ford Foundation Fellowship Predoctoral Competition, a nationwide competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.