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Basser Undergraduate Researcher, Summer 2020

Willow Renee Bowen

In 2019 I studied abroad in Australia, where I investigated microplastic ingestion rates of the sea cucumber Holothuria edulis on the Heron Island reef flat. Data indicated patterns of preferential feeding on microplastics rather than organic materials.  Confronted with the impacts of human activity on sea life, I wanted to consider the effects of anthropogenic activity on ecological welfare and animal biodiversity as a whole. This generalized investigation led me to join the Hadly Lab. 

As a Basser Fellow in the lab (Summer 2020), I am learning to use camera trap data to better understand the dynamic shifts in the meso-predator population and behavior in response to the (re)establishment of puma within the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The community surrounding JRBP has been participating in a backyard camera trapping study, and my role as a Basser Fellow will be to compare species occupancy within and outside of JRBP, specifically focusing on the puma – coyote – gray fox dynamics.