Cat Sun

bears, management, and people, oh My!

study the spatial patterns and genetic diversity of wildlife populations

I am a PhD student with the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA. 

I study the spatial and genetic patterns of the expanding black bear populations in New York.  By identifying patterns and mechanisms at ecological scales ranging from individual (e.g., movement)  to population (e.g., distribution), my work informs their population-level management. I use a variety of methods, including noninvasive genetic sampling, spatial capture-recapture and occupancy modeling, and citizen science approaches. 

Wildlife research is a combination of theory and practice. I enjoy the statistical modeling and analysis, while at the same time being out in the field collecting data and working with landowners to show how they are connected to their local wildlife.