Notes from the lab: Home range analysis

August 25, 2019

 

Hi Everyone! 

 

My name is Jelisa Oliveras. I am a master’s student in the Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program. I am part of the Baden PMEL lab at Hunter College.  Let me tell you about my journey to the PMEL lab and what I am working on now. 

 

From the beginning, I always had an interest in animal movement, behavior, and ecology. I completed my bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a concentration in  Biology and minor in Geography at Lehman College. Here, I started my training in Geographic Information Science (GIS) - computer software used for capturing, processing, and analyzing spatial data. I did my analyses on natural hazards and disasters, native and invasive plant species, and conservation assessments. 

 

After my bachelor’s degree, I had an opportunity to educate high school students at the Central Park Bio-Blitz (Central Park Conservancy): to identify and record the diversity of wildlife (such as birds, insects, and reptiles) as well as documenting invasive plant species. This opportunity led me to continue my research at New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), to achieve a better scientific understanding of flora and fauna, as well as aid in restoring the natural environment. After the NYBG, I was granted the incredible opportunity to continue my research with Asian Elephants in Thailand. I studied and worked with government officials, veterinarians, and conservationists to assess wildlife and conservation strategies throughout Thailand.

 

All of these opportunities led me to work at the PMEL lab. My master’s thesis is using geographic information science (GIS) and RStudio – statistical computing program to analyze black and white ruffed lemurs home ranges in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

 

The range use of black and white ruffed lemurs varies individually and seasonally (climatic: resource-abundant vs. resource scarcity or reproductive state). These ruffed lemurs are frugivorous (rely heavily on fruits) and are often seen foraging in large fruit trees. I am currently analyzing the monthly, seasonal, and annual range use of twenty-eight lemurs within the Mangevo ruffed lemur community, Dr. Baden's research site. Resource availability is linked to the climate, which leads us to ask whether resource availability and tree distribution direct range use. The data will be used to estimate overall home range, territory size and stability, as well as its location - the topography of resource availability.                      

 

Here I will show some examples of annual ranging data within my analysis:

 

 

 

 

There is so much I want to show, but I’ll leave it here for now. A peek into the world in black and white ruffed lemurs home range analysis. I can’t wait to show you my progress. Lemurs are fascinating primates!! 

 

I will update soon!!

 

Jelisa

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