Wes Binder

PhD student – NSF Fellow

Originally from Michigan, I have spent the last ten years working for various wildlife research projects that have largely focused on mammalian population dynamics. From studying spotted hyenas in Kenya to cougars and mule deer in northern California, I have spent a lot of time in the field collecting data, sleeping in a tent, and getting to know wonderful people who have inspired my curiosities of wildlife. Most recently I have been working for the Yellowstone Cougar Project which focuses on understanding the role of this solitary carnivore living amongst a diverse predator and prey community.

I am stoked to be joining the Levi Lab to continue working with data from Yellowstone, develop quantitative skills, and learn from lab members who are conducting all sorts of cool science. Specifically, I hope my research improves our understanding of how intact predator guilds can exhibit positive effects on prey communities, and how such interactions are influenced by seasonal weather patterns. Besides wildlife, my other interests involve reading fantasy books, dreaming of snowy mountains with skis on my feet, throwing frisbees, and providing my dog with all the support she needs to fulfill her endless quest of finding the best place to hide bones, sticks, and other valuables found while walking through the woods.