Members of my lab conduct applied social science research on environmental problems that are inherently interdisciplinary. Although a lot of academics are notoriously “siloed” in a way that precludes holistic problem definition, delineation of research objectives, data collection, and interpretation of results, members of my lab work to overcome these shortcomings. I recognize interdisciplinary scientists have challenges communicating and sharing knowledge with each other because of different terminologies and epistemologies that can require substantial investments in time and social capital to overcome; I mentor my students to confront and overcome these challenges. Previous lab members have focused on a wide array of human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife conservation issues; increasingly, students research conservation criminology-related topics, including building capacity to reduce blue water crime, wildlife poaching, and improving fisheries management rules.
My lab is extramurally funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Fulbright Program; they have worked in Michigan, Madagascar, Namibia, Singapore, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Russia.
Current Lab Members
Jessica studies the relationship between risk perception, vulnerability, and compliance associated with human-wildlife conflict in Indonesia.
Ronak Sripal, Ph.D. Student
Ethan Shirley, MS/JD Student
Ethan Shirley is a J.D. candidate concurrently pursuing a Master’s in Fisheries and Wildlife. He has worked for eleven years in the Brazilian Pantanal executing educational projects about sustainability and conservation in the region. His research will look into environmental education in the Pantanal and its effects on compliance with environmental laws and policies. He also has worked extensively on woolly mammoth paleobiology. In his free time he plays guitar and piano very badly.
Former Lab Members
Dr. Michelle L. Lute, PhD Student
Michelle studied the interface between conservation ethics, risk perception, and conservation stewardship within the context of wolf management in Michigan.
Dr. Heather Triezenberg, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Heather developed a risk communication program and evaluated its impacts on stakeholders’ risk perceptions associated with bovine tuberculosis in Michigan. She is now the Extension Specialist and Program Coordinator for Michigan Sea Grant Extension.
Bret explored social network effects on public perceptions of risk associated with Double-crested cormorants in the Great Lakes Basin. He is now the Program Manager for the Stewart Udall Parks in Focus Program.
Allyson Hughes, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Allyson explored the transmission risk of bovine tuberculosis between livestock and white-tailed deer in Michigan.
Lisa Fishbeck, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Lisa worked on a cross-cultural content analysis on media coverage of sharks.
Term-based Graduate Research Assistants
Roy Fenoff, PhD student
Jeremy Carter, PhD
Rachel Boratto, PhD student
Mark Gibson, PhD student
Adam Buchard, MS student