Research Group

Ali Hassan (research technician, Mpala)

Ali Hassan (research technician, Mpala)

Ali has worked with our research group for over 10 years. He is the consummate natural historian, with encyclopedic knowledge of darned near every critter--flora and fauna--on the UHURU project. Ali is absolutely essential to keeping our projects in Laikipia running smoothly while we're across the pond.

Alois Wambua (MSc student, Karatina University)

Alois Wambua (MSc student, Karatina University)

Alois "Ali" Wambua works both as the small mammal fundi for the UHURU experiment and the Mammalogy Section at the National Museums of Kenya. His work is funded by the Kenya National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation and the U.S. National Science Foundation. His involvement with UHURU has rounded out our research group's triumvirate of high-quality Ali's.
Anne-Marie Hodge (PhD student, UW)

Anne-Marie Hodge (PhD student, UW)

I graduated from Auburn University in 2009, and recently finished my Master's degree at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Here, I studied niche partitioning mechanisms between sympatric carnivores in the eastern Andean foothills of Ecuador.

Brandon Hays (big-headed ant project manager, Mpala and Ol Pejeta Conservancy)

Brandon Hays (big-headed ant project manager, Mpala and Ol Pejeta Conservancy)

After a year-long stint at the Ipassa Research Center in Gabon, Brandon Hays (left) wears many hats: big-headed ant project manager, UHURU small-mammal trapper, Fulbright scholar, and professional handler of Drs. Goheen, Riginos, Palmer, and Pietrek. We are delighted he'll be joining our group in Spring 2018 to work on the demography of mutualism breakdown in Laikipia.
Brett Jesmer (PhD student, UW)

Brett Jesmer (PhD student, UW)

I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Wyoming. I grew up in the St. Lawrence River valley of northern New York State and attended the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University (SUNY ESF).

Britt Brito (MSc student, UW)

Britt Brito (MSc student, UW)

Through my MSc, I will investigate factors limiting the abundance and distribution of the Wyoming pocket gopher, in response to natural gas development and other environmental stressors. With the assistance of Dr. Matthew Carling, I am also studying dynamics of hybridization with western pocket gophers.
Deborah Boro (MSc student, UNM)

Deborah Boro (MSc student, UNM)

Deborah is working with Seth Newsome and Jake to understand the causes and consequences of ecological generalism in small mammal communities. As you can see from her photo, Deborah relishes test tubes, beakers, pipettes, and fume hoods--you know, real science. We are lucky to have her on board!
Gilbert Busienei (research technician, Mpala)

Gilbert Busienei (research technician, Mpala)

A master multitasker, Gilbert Busienei has worked with our research group as a fundi on small mammals and, more recently, big-headed ants, trees, and elephants. Here, on a chilly morning, he holds a four-toed hedgehog, one of the least-commonly sampled mammals in our UHURU plots.
Jake Goheen

Jake Goheen

I am a lucky fellow because I get paid to do what I love to do. I am an academic generalist and I try hard to be a conservation biologist, community ecologist, and mammalogist simultaneously. I am interested in both applied issues and basic questions in ecology. Through my research and that of our group, I try to understand how species interactions can inform wildlife conservation and management.

Jesse Alston (MSc student, UW)

Jesse Alston (MSc student, UW)

Animal behavior has driven my interest in nature since I was old enough to realize that animals had minds of their own. Since then, I’ve come to believe that maintaining ecosystem function in our rapidly changing world is the greatest challenge we face today. My research interests are thus unified by a common theme: applying discoveries from research in animal behavior to better inform conservation practice. My graduate work will cover resource competition in Myotis bats and how it drives resource partitioning between and among Myotis species, along with a host of more applied conservation questions.
Saeideh Esmaeili (PhD student, UW)

Saeideh Esmaeili (PhD student, UW)

I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s of Environmental Science from Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran. Since then, I have been involved in many research projects on the conservation of locally and globally threatened species like Persian wild ass, goitered gazelle, Indian gazelle, sand cat, Asiatic cheetah, and Asiatic houbara bustard. My dissertation seeks to understand ecological and socio-economic correlates surrounding the migrations of a globally-endangered equid, the onager, in south central Iran.