Applied Conservation Lab

Current Research Projects (click on project titles for poster)

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Analysis of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Pellets to Assess Small Mammal Communities in Response To Landscape Change (Undergraduate Researchers: Evelyn Orlowski, Kate Vossen, Jennifer Juarez, Claire Rohrer, Mary Weiss, Kevin Bratina and Orion Groff).

Small mammal communities are important for ecosystem processes and sustaining higher trophic levels. Based on the analysis of Barn owl pellets, the objective of this study is to identify shifts in small mammal community assemblages based on changes in landscape structure across the state of Pennsylvania. 

The Search For Elusive Weasels in Pennsylvania: A Pilot Project (Undergraduate Researchers: Alyssa Lutz, Orion Groff, Nate Wilson, Claire Rohrer, Mary Weiss, Julia Battista, Kevin Bratina, Abigail Horst, and Evelyn Orlowski).

Millersville University and other organizations statewide have begun a pilot project to develop non-invasive survey techniques for weasels. The goal of this project is to test various remote camera trap designs to determine effective strategies to detect weasel presence. 

Urban Planning For Bats: Green Roofs & The Surrounding Environment (Undergraduate Researchers: Darian Hauf and Whitney Whyte)

The goal of this research is to determine what urban habitat features promote greater bat activity and diversity to guide bat conservation efforts in urban areas. We placed AudioMoth® recording devices on green roofs and conventional roofs in Lancaster City, PA to record bat vocalizations. We used the Kaleidoscope Pro software by Wildlife Acoustics to analyze bat call vocalizations and identify species. Tentative results suggest that green roofs in conjunction with other ecological variables are associated with greater bat activity.  

Assessing the Impacts of Invasive Species on Endangered Species in The United States  (Undergraduate Researchers: Emily Ritter, Lauren Bleyer, Cameala Freed, Kayla Beundia and Gina Salerni)

The introduction of invasive species is one of the main threats causing native wildlife to become threatened and endangered in the United States (US). The purpose of this research project is to identify which invasive species are the most prevalent in causing species endangerment, how invasive species impact native species and where do invasive species originate from. Our goal is to develop policy and biological control guidelines for the National Invasive Species Council in controlling and mitigating the spread of invasive species to benefit native species of wildlife in the US.          

Surveying for Rare Bats in Protected Areas of Pennsylvania 

The state of Pennsylvania identifies 3 bat species as endangered, and 2 bat species in Pennsylvania are currently federally listed under the Endangered Species Act. The objective of this research project is to monitor for rare bat species in protected and urban areas in Pennsylvania via acoustic monitoring technology.  All analyzed bat survey call data will be combined with other funded bat surveys efforts to contribute to Pennsylvania bat conservation efforts (Funded by Audubon Pennsylvania and Kittatinny Ridge Coalition).




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