Integrative Wildlife Conservation

Integrative Wildlife Conservation

Dan Thornton

Project Description

My research focuses on how human-caused alterations of landscapes influence mammal distribution, abundance, and behavior. I have particular interests in elucidating the intrinsic (e.g., body size, behavior) and extrinsic (e.g., patch size, connectivity) factors that influence patterns of mammal distribution within fragmented and disturbed landscapes. My work also addresses the relative role of climate, land-use, and species biology in controlling the large-scale distribution of species. At Trent, I am involved in several projects that focus on the ecology of carnivores and their prey species. A temporally and spatially extensive dataset of snowshoe hare occurrence and abundance from northern Idaho will be used to examine factors (both environmental and behavioral) that drive extinction/colonization dynamics and patterns of abundance within forest stands. This work will increase our understanding of the processes governing the distribution and ecology of snowshoe hare at the southern edge of their range. In collaboration with other researches, I am also in the process of analyzing museum and harvest records of lynx, coyotes, bobcats, and foxes to develop range-wide species distribution models. This work will be used to address a variety of theoretical and applied issues such as the impact of biotic interactions and landscape change on large-scale distributions patterns of mesocarnivores, and the effect of uncertainty in location information on reliability of predictions. Distribution models will also be used to forecast impacts of climate change on the mesocarnivores, and in particular, to examine how a warming climate may impact regions of overlap (and potential hybridization) between Canada lynx and bobcats.

 

Appointments

  • Trent University, Canada (May 2011-present)
    Post-doctoral Fellow in Biology
  • Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas (August 2010-May 2011)
    Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow in Environmental Studies
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    Publications

    Thornton, D.H., L.C. Branch, and M.E. Sunquist. (In press). Response of large galliforms and tinamous (Cracidae, Phasianidae, Tinamidae) to habitat loss and fragmentation in northern Guatemala. Oryx.

    Thornton, D.H., L.C. Branch, and M.E. Sunquist. (In press). Evaluating the relative influence of habitat loss and fragmentation: Do tropical mammals meet the temperate paradigm? Ecological Applications.

    Thornton, D.H., L.C. Branch, and M.E. Sunquist. 2011. Passive sampling effects and landscape location alter associations between species traits and response to fragmentation. Ecological Applications: 21(3):817-829.

    Thornton, D.H., L.C. Branch, and M.E. Sunquist. 2011. The influence of landscape, patch, and within-patch factors on species presence and abundance: a review of focal patch studies. Landscape ecology: 26:7-18.

    Thornton, D.H., M.E. Sunquist, and M.B. Main. 2004. Ecological separation within newly sympatric populations of coyotes and bobcats in southern Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 85(5):973-982.

    Main, M.B., M.D. Flanning, J.J. Mullahey, S. Coates, and D.H. Thornton. 2003. Cattlemen’s perceptions of coyotes in Florida. Florida Scientist 66:55-61.

     

    Education

  • PhD (2010)
    Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
    University of Florida
    Dissertation: The influence of species traits and landscape attributes on the response of mid- and large-sized neotropical mammals to forest fragmentation
  • Masters (2003)
    Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
    University of Florida
    Thesis: Ecological separation within newly sympatric populations of coyotes and bobcats in south-central Florida
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    Contact

    Phone: 705-748-1011 ext 6128
    email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:54
     
     
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