Michael T. Dobbins is a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Ecology at the University of Florida. Dr. Broadbent is his advisor. He was a Masters student and Graduate Teaching Assistant affiliated with the SPEC Lab at the University of Alabama. His MS research focused on a multi-faceted jaguar conservation project in the Mayan village of Blue Creek, Belize. Through the use of camera traps and track plotting, he investigated jaguar habitat selection and activity patterns over a 25 sq. mile study area centered around the village. Additionally, he interviewed residents of Blue Creek to obtain a better understanding of the human-jaguar interactions that take place, as well as to find out the overall attitude of the residents towards jaguars. His PhD research looked at the spatial ecology of terrestrial wildlife in dynamic human dominanted landscapes, and included bayesian occupancy modeling techniques, remote sensing, soundscapes for hunting intensity quantification, and surveys with diverse local communities.
Oscar Ivan Raigosa Garcia is a MS student in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida. He is co-advised by Dr. Broadbent and Dr. Minogue. He is originally from Colombia. His focus is on use of GatorEye LiDAR for forest tree level automated parameter extraction in Florida.
Zhiqing “Gail” Cheng, is an undergraduate student majoring in Tourism, Events and Recreation Management and minoring in Geography in University of Florida. She is specialization in Tourism and Hospitality management. She currently conducts research on tourism in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, under the guidance of Dr. Almeyda Zambrano. Her research includes the stablishment of a database on lodging offerings in the Peninsula and golfito area and the spatial analysis of lodging in the Peninsula. Gail hopes to gain more experience and pursuit further education in tourism after graduating from University of Florida. In her leisure time, she enjoys outdoor recreation and holds several certifications in scuba diving.
Sandra L. Almeyda Zambrano holds a BS degree and forest engineering certification from “Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina”. She is a Masters student alumni with the SPEC Lab, advised by Eben Broadbent, in the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Her MS thesis studied forest structural determinants of primate movement patterns in the Peruvian Andes. She is now the manager at AmaZOOnico Rescue Center for Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Please see her personal site at: http://www.peruconservation.org/sandra
Please see her personal site at: http://www.peruconservation.org/sandra
Kelsi Davis is a researcher and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama. She is attending as a master’s student under the advisory of Dr. Eben Broadbent within the Spatial Ecology and Conservation (SPEC) lab. Kelsi attended Texas A&M University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences with a minor in Geography. While attending Texas A&M, she worked on a wide variety of research and projects. In 2012, she served an assistanceship with the USGS to analyze water quality in the region of San Antonio, Texas. In 2013, she attended a study abroad trip where she focused heavily on the effects of ecotourism in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and variation of microclimates within a tropical cloud forest in Costa Rica. In her last two years of earning her undergraduate degree, she worked under the advisory of Dr. Daniel Goldberg and in collaboration with the Audubon Society to analyze Volunteered Geographic Information and its capabilities of serving as accurate scientific research data. Kelsi also assisted Dr. Brendan Roark with lab work concerning collecting the isotopic signatures of chemosynthetic mussels from the Atlantic Ocean. Kelsi’s current research interests pertain to secondary forest biomass accumulation spatio-temporal patterns and drone-borne LiDAR monitoring. She is also interested as to how the depletion and deforestation of tropical forests will affect global climate change.
Cindy Taylor graduated with a B.S. in biology from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. She worked for two and a half years as a lab technician at the University of Pennsylvania, studying the epigenetic mechanisms contributing to neuropsychiatric disease. She then spent one year in Costa Rica studying the foraging behavior of capuchin monkeys. For her thesis, she examined the spatial and temporal determinants of the composition and abundance of bat species within the Oakmulgee Ranger District of Talladega National Forest.
Katy Shay is an undergraduate majoring in Environmental Science. She has been working with the SPEC Lab through the University of Alabama Emerging Scholars Program. Katy led the Arboretum Soundscape Program (arboretum.ua.edu) monitoring seasonal changes in avifauna composition and abundance as well as a project comparing phylogenetic vs. ecological factors defining avian song similarity.
Austin Pinkerton is an undergraduate majoring in Computer Science from Madison, Mississippi. He is working with the SPEC Lab through the University of Alabama’s Computer-based Honors Research Program ( http://honors.ua.edu/computer-based-honors-program ). For his project, which started Spring 2015, Austin will be working with Dr. Broadbent on the design, programming, field validation and parameterization, and implementation of an automated pattern recognition algorithm to identify individual tree-crown dimensions and related forest structural and compositional attributes from high spatial resolution visual and multi-spectral sensors acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Specifically, the project will focus on using IDL as the primary programming language on Micasense multispectral and visual (RGB) imagery collected from the PrecisionHawk UAV platform (www.precisionhawk.com) and post-processed in Pix4DPro software (www.pix4d.com) which uses photogrammetric correlation analyses to produce 3D point clouds, digital surface and elevation models, and ortho-mosaics at spatial resolutions as high as 1 cm2. This project is a collaboration with both PrecisionHawk and their subsidiary web based imagery analysis platform www.datamapper.com.
Philip Shimel is an undergraduate from Colorado, majoring in Environmental Science. He will be working with the SPEC Lab through the University of Alabama Honors College. He completed an REU internship researching pollination at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station (See "Shimel, Philip" http://mlbs.org/2014REUProjects). He has field experience catching amphibians with UA's Rissler Lab, surveying cloud forest in Ecuador (See https://ecomingafoundation.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/two-new-magnolia-species-discovered-in-our-rio-zunac-reserve/), and traversing rainforest in Belize to help study jaguar conservation with SPEC Lab alumnus Michael Dobbins. Starting Fall Semester Philip will be working on landscape – pollinator interactions in Alabama forests, specifically Lake Lurleen State Park. A recent copy of his resume is available for download at download.
Valerie Valdelomar León is a Costa Rican conservation biologist and ecologist with great experience in the fauna and flora of the Osa Peninsula and region. She is a guide at the Lapa Rios Ecolodge on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. She worked on the SPEC Lab - Lapa Rios camera trap network.