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Lukacs Lab

Mt. St. EliasOur research interests center on the development and application of quantitative methods to ecological problems, primarily in wildlife population dynamics.  We strive to connect ecological theory to wildlife management problems and in doing so improve wildlife management and test ecological theory.

One facet of our research employs empirical field-based studies.  Projects span taxanomic groups and currently include ungulates, alcids and shorebirds.  Many factors influence wildlife population dynamics, therefore our projects frequently integrate multiple sources of demographic information to better understand the system.

Another side of our research examines statistical methods used in ecological research.  Frequently, wildlife biologists encounter field logistical constraints or other factors that result in assumption violations of existing statistical models.  The assumption violations may limit inference in some cases.  In our lab, we develop statistical methods aimed at overcoming complicated study design logistics.  Much of this work has been done in relation to the study of marked populations.

A third component of work in our lab is software development aimed at placing advanced statistical tools in the hands of wildlife managers.  We work with wildlife management agencies to develop software that links the multitudes of data collected by managers to demographic models.

photos: Thanks to Anne Schaefer/UM and Mark Vieira/CPW