"Most of the Western Hemisphere's charismatic large mammals no longer exist. As a result, without knowing it, Americans live in a land of ghosts" - Paul S. Martin

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

Rob Lonsinger

I am currently working on my PhD at the University of Idaho (Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources). As a member of the Laboratory for Ecological, Evolutionary, and Conservation Genetics, I am advised by Dr. Lisette Waits. My dissertation research focuses on employing noninvasive genetic sampling techniques to assess the demographic parameters of kit fox and coyote populations in western Utah. Furthermore, I am evaluating population genetic structure and the influence that anthropogenic landscape alterations have on the spatial dynamics and connectivity of these populations. My professional interests include landscape genetics, spatial ecology, the effect of anthropogenic landscape alteration on populations, urban ecology, predator-prey dynamics, and statistics.

Recent Updates

American Society of Mammalogists Annual Meeting

On June26th, 2012, I presented portions of my Master's research on the population genetics of ringtails at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, a professional society that I have been a member of for 5 years now. The presentation went smoothly and was well attended. I received quite a bit of positive feedback regarding my research and the presentation.

Program MARK Workshop

I recently attended the MARK Workshop at CSU in Fort Collins, CO from June 3 - 8. The workshop was intense, with 12 - 13 hour long days. The level of expertise and 'apparent' patience of the instructores was incredible. By far, this workshop was well worth the money, time, and stress. The beer in Fort Collins was equally great. RTFM!

On to the University of Idaho!

In May of 2012, I made a move to the University of Idaho to work on my PhD. I am fortunate to be working with two incredible advisors, Drs. Lisette Waits and Jon Horne. My research will focos on employing noninvasive genetic techniques to assess the population demographics of kit fox and coyote populations in west Utah. I am also interested in investigating the population genetics and landscape ecology of these two species. Stay tuned for updates! Cheers!

Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders

Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife ecology, said that "the object is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands." We can only expect future generations to respect, care for, and conserve the natural environment if we take the time to help them learn about and develop an appreciation for that environment. As part of the Environmental Education Outreach Program, I recently visited a series of both public and private schools to teach students about local wildlife species and the habitats on which they depend. I focused on the important topics of habitat, carrying capacity, and human influences on these. I tried to give them one interesting fact about each of the local species covered to spark their curiosity.

24 Hours of Reality: Local Implications of Climate Change

I was invited to participate on an expert panel to discuss the impacts of climate change on local natural resources. Panelists included me (wildlife), Jim Rineholt (forestry) and Wendy Pabich (water resources). Following the viewing of the live “24 Hours of Reality” rally from Colorado, we each provided a short, 10 minutes presentation on the local implications of climate change. The floor was then opened for questions and discussion with the audience. A huge thanks to the Environmental Resource Center and the City of Ketchum for hosting this event.

Last week I learned of the passing of Dr. Ulysses McElyea. Upon hearing the news, I found myself overwhelmed with a mix of emotions. Although I was filled with sadness, I could not remember a moment when thoughts of Dr. Mac brought anything but a smile to my face. That is still true. Dr. Mac was always quick with a joke and was the bright spot in anybody's day who crossed his path. I was fortunate enough to get to know Dr. Mac and even more fortunate that he was willing to serve as a mentor and a friend. When I began my graduate career at New Mexico State University, Dr. Mac gave me the opportunity to work under him. The knowledge I gained and the example he set will remain with me throughout my life. My thoughts go out to Natalia and all of Dr. Mac's family and friends. Dr. Mac, you are missed.