Present Heb-lab members
Mark Hebblewhite, Associate Professor
Born in Montreal and raised in Ontario by British parents awed by Canada's wilderness, my childhood love of wildlife was kick started into a career by a lucky park ranger job in Hudson Bay when I was 18. I've conducted research on wildlife from songbirds to bears, focusing on wolves and their ungulate prey across Canada, the US, eastern Europe and Mongolia. My main research objectives are to always combine strong empirical approaches to the conservation of terrestrial wildlife and the systems in which they live - to me, large ungulates and their predators are good entry points to understanding ecosystems because of their important roles and their conservation and management relevance. I love running, biking, hiking, walks with my wife Emily and our dogs, and especially all kinds of skiing - there are presently 7 pairs of skiis in my garage. Email:
mark.hebblewhite 'at' umontana.edu
click here to view Google Scholar Profile
Robin Steenweg, PhD Student
Robin grew up in both small-town Nova Scotia and big-city Montreal and after finishing his BSc at McGill University, decided to head ‘out west’. He worked on various grizzly, black bear, wolf and caribou projects throughout Alberta and BC before starting his MSc at UNBC in Prince George, BC. During his Master’s, he tested the efficacy of increasing moose hunting quotas in order to promote mountain caribou recovery, through the indirect effects a lower moose density has on wolves. His current research revolves around using remote cameras to monitory grizzly and other large mammals in the Canadian Mountain Parks. Robin keeps the Canadian-quotient in the lab high. Whenever he can, Robin finds himself outdoors, enjoying climbing, XC biking, AT skiing, running and hiking.
Email: robin.steenweg ‘at’ umontana.edu
Mark Hurley, PhD student
(co-advised with Mike Mitchell
). Mark moved from Northern Minnesota to the University of Montana where he received BS in Wildlife Biology in 1987. After several highly entertaining temporary jobs in wildlife he attended the University of Idaho where he achieved a Masters in Wildlife Resources for his work on bull elk ecology and survey methods in Western Montana for the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. He has worked with most large mammals in the western US, diverting for a short time to waterfowl in Canada. His work experience is diverse, including; mechanic, rancher, firefighter, research or range technician, management biologist, and research scientist. He has worked for Idaho Fish and Game for 19 years, first as a management biologist and then as a wildlife research biologist for the last 14 years.Mark's PhD research is ungulate ecology with an emphasis on mule deer population dynamics
, predator/prey interaction, and developing tools to better manage wildlife populations. Mark is the only member of the Heb lab who can legitamately wear a cowboy hat. Mark enjoys family, hunting, fishing, and flying Idaho’s backcountry.
mark.hurley 'at' idfg.idaho.gov
Wibke Peters, PhD student
Edmund Mach Foundation, Italy, and PhD student University of Montana. Wibke obtained her B.S. in International Forest Ecosystem Management from the University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, Germany. Upon the completion of her degree Wibke worked for the Federal Forestry Department Brandenburg, Germany, performing applied forest management and associated forest science. She finished her MS at the University of Montana in the Heb Lab in 2010, and is now jointly supervised by Dr. Francesca Cagnacci, Edmund Mach Institute, and Hebblewhite at the University of Montana. Her PhD research will be focused on understanding the effects of climate change on migration of roe deer in the Italian Alps and Europe. Wibke enjoys hiking, skiing, hunting, swimming, playing basketball, travelling and cultural experiences. Email: wibke.peters 'at' umontana.edu
Derek Spitz, PhD student
Born in Salinas, CA, Derek crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains to attend Deep Springs College. He has rarely left the Eastern Sierra since. He received a B.A. in Biology from The University of Chicago in 2009. From 2007-2011 he worked for the California Department of Fish and Game—first on the Round Valley Deer Project studying mule deer migration in the Sierras, then as part of the recovery team for federally endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. His research is directed towards developing a better understanding of this species’ migration, resource use and vulnerability to climate change. He is also interested in clarifying the way ethics informs management decisions. An avid backpacker, Derek might get around to hiking the CDT one day. In the mean time, he aspires to learn the accordion. Email: derek.spitz ’at’umontana.edu
Tshering Tempa (Tempa), PhD student
(co-adivsed with Dr. Scott Mills
). Tempa obtained his undergraduate degree in Forest Sciences in Dhaward, India in 2003, and his MS in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana in 2008. Since 2006, Tempa has worked at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment
(UWICE) where is is Chair of the Department of Conservation Biology. Tempa's PhD research is focused on Bengal tigers and their prey in a landscape context using occupancy and camera trapping, as well as to study the connectivity and movement of wildlife population and population dynamics using non-invasive sampling methods. Email: tshering1.tempa 'at' umconnect.umt.edu.
Daniel Eacker, MS student
As an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Dan has spent extensive time working on various field projects from the Rocky Mountains of Montana to the High Sierra of California. After growing up in Kalispell, MT, he moved to Missoula for his undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana, which he completed in 2009. He spent two summers as a technician for the USGS Grizzly Bear DNA Project in the remote backcountry of the Bob Marshall Wilderness from 2010-2011. He started his MS program in Jan of 2012 on the Bitterroot elk project, working closely with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Dr. Kelly Proffitt. Dan’s thesis work will investigate the influence of predation, habitat, and nutrition on elk calf survival, and is a part of a collaborative effort to develop an integrated model for elk populations in the Bitterroot. Dan’s other interests include playing music, backpacking, fishing, statistics, mechanics and gardening. He also makes a mean pizza. He learned his mechanic skills while rebuilding the motor of a 1978 Volkswagen van, and of course, repairing it as it broke down on road trips.
Dr. Bill Smith, Post-doctoral Researcher
Google Scholar Profile: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=KZoNTJcAAAAJ&hl=en
Bill received his BS in applied mathematics from Western Carolina University, his MS in ecology from Colorado State University, and his PhD in ecosystem ecology from the University of Montana. Throughout his graduate education, Bill has been moving up in scale, starting from plot-level work for his MS and finishing with global-scale research using satellite remote sensing data for his PhD. Currently, Bill’s main interests lie in addressing large-scale climate, food, and energy issues via the application of global satellite data and ecosystem process models. As a member of the Heb lab, Bill’s focus is on exploring the relationship between satellite-derived vegetation indices and global-scale large ungulate population dynamics. Further, Bill is interested in comparing direct ground-based measures of vegetation quality and availability with indirect satellite-based vegetation indices, to determine how these related measures vary through space and time. Bill's time is split 50:50 between working with Mark Hebblewhite and Cory Cleveland. Bill enjoys fly-fishing, kayaking, skiing, and exploring Montana’s extensive backcountry.
Former Heb-lab members
1) Nick DeCesare, PhD student graduated May 2012. Nick's Dissertation research focused on the ecology and conservation of threatened woodland caribou in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia. He is now a research biologist with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.Click here for Nick's personal webpage
2) Clay Miller, MS student, graduated May 2012. Clay completed his MS research on Amur Tigers in the Russian Far East examining predator-prey relationships with GPS collars. Presently working as a biotechnician for Glacier National Park.
3) Scott Eggeman, MS student, graduated May 2012. Scott conducted his MS research at the Ya Ha Tinda ranch on partially migratory elk demography. He is now employed as a private lands conservation coordinator for the Swan Ecosystem Center.
4) Hugh Robinson, Post-doctoral researcher, 2007-2011. Effects of fire on wolf-caribou relationships in the Canadian Rockies 2007-2009. Linking cougar resource selection to populations in Montana 2009-2011. Hugh is sorely missed (already!) but we are extremely excited for his new position with Panthera in New York city as the Director of the Landscape Analysis Lab.
5) Kathleen Griffin, Post-doctoral research associate, 2008/09. Elk calf meta-analysis. Presently the State-wide Species Conservation Coordinator – Sage Grouse, Colorado Division of Wildlife
6) Wibke Peters, MS student, graduated Fall 2010. Presently doing her PhD with Hebblewhite and Cagnacci at the Edmund Mach Foundation, Italy.
7) Lacey Greene, MS student, graduated Spring 2010. Presently doing her PhD at UC Davis, California.
8) Jean Polfus, MS student, graduated Spring 2010. Presently PhD student at the University of Manitoba with Dr. Micheline Manseau.
9) Shawn Cleveland, MS student, graduated Spring 2010. Starting a PhD at SUNY-ESF in Fall 2013.