Taal Levi

Associate Professor Hello, and welcome to my lab at Oregon State University. I combine empirical data, fieldwork, and quantitative methods to address applied problems. My focus is broad, extending from understanding how to assess the spatial extent and ecological consequences of wildlife overexploitation, to fisheries management, the ecology and conservation of predators, disease ecology, and […]

Jennifer Allen

Environmental Genetics Lab Manager I run the environmental genetics program in the Levi Lab at Oregon State University. We use separate facilities for pre-PCR and post-PCR genetics work and multiple UV-irradiated laminar-flow PCR cabinets to reduce the risk that environmental samples are contaminated. In our lab we primarily work with fecal DNA, environmental DNA (eDNA) from […]

Jenny Urbina

Postdoctoral Research Associate I am an ecologist and I am interested on understanding the effects of habitat disturbance, invasive species and emerging infectious diseases (EID’s). During my PhD, I was trained in experimental biology using the system chytrid-amphibians to evaluate impacts of the chytrid through the life history of native and invasive amphibian species. I […]

Marie Tosa

PhD student I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, but became interested in the natural world working on a bat physiology project in high school. I went on to earn a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from New York University and MS in Zoology from the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois […]

Joel Ruprecht

Postdoctoral Research Associate (previously PhD Student) I am extremely grateful to be studying the spatial ecology of carnivores for my dissertation in the Levi Lab. The research is conducted at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and focuses on interactions between cougars, coyotes, bobcats and bears, as well as […]

Aimee Massey

NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow (previously PhD student) I am broadly interested in applying ecological methods and theory to conservation problems. My training and continued interests focus on combining methods in disease ecology, quantitative ecology, and mammalian ecology to address issues of human-wildlife conflict and the impacts of environmental disturbance on species interactions, populations, and communities. […]

Charlotte Eriksson

Postdoctoral Research Associate (previously PhD Student) I am broadly interested in using noninvasive techniques to study different aspects of carnivore ecology. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science from University of Sydney, Australia, and my Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Lund University, Sweden. I first found my way to the Levi […]

Kenneth Loonam

PhD Student I am a PhD student in the Levi Lab. For my dissertation, I will be looking at the community effects of an elk reduction experiment in Starkey Experimental Forest and Range in eastern Oregon.  The elk reduction is part of a long-term research project at Starkey run by the US Forest Service and Oregon […]

Cara Appel

PhD Student I grew up here in the Pacific Northwest and have a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington and an M.S. in Wildlife from Humboldt State University. For my master’s research, I studied habitat ecology of North American porcupines in the Tolowa Dunes of northern California. I have also been working […]

Ellen Dymit

PhD Student (NSF Fellow) Growing up in Minnesota, my love of wilderness was born when I first heard wild wolves howl. By a delightful twist of fate, my Master’s research in the Levi lab now centers on the foraging ecology of coastal wolves on the Alaskan peninsula in Katmai National Park. Using noninvasive DNA sampling […]

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, […]

Emily Dziedzic

PhD Student The route I took to become a Master’s student in the Levi Lab was fairly circuitous. A large swath of conservation land was my playground growing up and I was academically inclined toward quantitative pursuits but I took a detour through the art world before coming back to computer programming as a webmaster […]

Meredith Pochardt

MS Winter 2019 (Now Executive Director of Takshanuk Watershed Council) Growing up in upstate New York and spending lots of time tromping through streams and fields instilled a wonder about ecology. This continued through my undergraduate studies at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF, “stumpies”) where I majored […]

Derek Spitz

Former Postdoctoral Research Associate, now postdoc at UC Santa Cruz For many species, fitness is a function of an individual’s ability to match his or her behavior to available conditions. Thus in making decisions that affect their fitness, animals translate the conditions they experience into demographic consequences at the individual and population levels. I’m interested […]

Brent Barry

MS Spring 2018 (Now Wildlife Biologist with Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde) I grew up outside of Chicago and spent my youth wandering the forests and lakes of the upper Midwest.  After receiving my undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont I moved west and have worked in many different places.  Most of my […]

Laurie Harrer

MS Fall 2017 (now instructor at Oregon State University – Cascades) I have worked in various fish and wildlife positions across the Western United States. I worked for the Birds and Burns project at Montana State University where I earned my B.S. in Fish and Wildlife Science. After graduating, I interned at an environmental consulting […]

Yasaman Shakeri

MS Winter 2017 (now Wildlife Biologist with Alaska Department of Fish and Game) Over the past five years I have been involved in various wildlife projects throughout the Western United States. I began working with small mammals and pumas while pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. After […]

Felipe Pedrosa

Visiting PhD student There is no place in the world humankind has not put its footprint. Few remote places on earth are still primeval and healthy, but most of them have suffered habitat loss, defaunation, introduction of alien species, and many are degraded ecosystems. The role of the ecologist in the 21st century should be to […]

Leona Wai

Visiting MS student I was born and raised in Borneo, Malaysia and doing a 5-months internship with the Fisheries and Wildlife Department, under the supervision of Nicole Duplaix and Taal Levi. I have finished my Bachelor degree in Conservation Biology in 2015 and currently pursuing my MSc in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). My MSc project […]

Disease Ecology

We work on a variety of disease systems. In the past, the community ecology of Lyme disease and tick-borne pathogens was a major focus. Currently we work on how deforestation in the southern Amazon interacts with biodiversity (hosts), vectors, and pathogens to influence disease risk to humans. Our primary focus is Leishmaniasis, which is transmitted […]

Salmon, Humans, and Wildlife

Pacific salmon are fantastic (and tasty) animals. They are born in freshwater, migrate to sea, and return to their natal stream where they spawn and die. They provide an enormous pulse of marine derived nutrients to terrestrial systems. Predators, and particularly bears, rely heavily on salmon. Humans also rely on salmon for livelihoods and food. […]

Human Livelihoods and the Tropical Biodiversity Conservation

Subsistence hunting provides a crucial food source for rural populations in tropical forests but is often said to be unsustainable. However, previous methods treat sustainability as a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, which is particularly problematic because the answer to that question depends entirely on the spatial scale being considered. To remedy this, my research […]

Wildlife Ecology, Trophic Cascades, and Indirect Effects

I am interested in the interactions of predator species and the causes and consequences of coexistence versus competitive exclusion. For example, my research explores the possiblity that wolves suppress coyotes, which allows fox populations to increase. This has implications for our understanding of how strongly top predators structure ecosysems. Our current research explores the role of bears in […]

Environmental Genetics

We operate an environmental genetics lab with separate spaces (on distinct floors) for high-DNA and low-DNA applications as well as a biosafety lab for working with pathogens. Major projects include DNA metabarcoding for animal diet analysis and food webs. We have now processed well over 10,000 carnivore scats from across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Environmental […]

The golden drool: Study finds treasure trove of info in saliva of foraging bears

November 25, 2016 Some media about our recently published research showing that residual bear saliva on salmon carcasses is a great source of DNA Scientists Rule, Bears Drool Scientists studying brown bears in Southeast Alaska have been using saliva left behind in half-eaten salmon carcasses to identify individual bears faster and with improved efficiency. Did […]

Our lab featured in the NY Times

August 23, 2016 Article about “A Natural Cure for Lyme Disease” in the NY Times arguing that more intact ecosystems may reduce disease risk. Visit the link below.