Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Molly McDevitt

University of Montana – Ph.D. Student in Fish and Wildlife Biology - Projected to Graduate 2023
Project Title: Exploring Landscape and Environmental Drivers of Pronghorn Movement and Demography Across Spatiotemporal Scales

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While the desert landscape played a large role in my upbringing, what likely drove me to the natural sciences was spending summers in Yellowstone National Park where my folks worked seasonally. During college, I found my way back to Yellowstone, working there from 2010 to 2014. Now, I find myself using my extensive fieldwork background and mathematical skills to help develop and improve wildlife population monitoring programs. My goals as a quantitative ecologist are to positively impact on-the-ground wildlife conservation efforts by providing more precise population estimates for biologist to make informed conservation decisions. My current research focuses on developing analytical and statistically rigorous field methods for monitoring a wide range of species population movements and demographics. Through this work, I feel grateful for the opportunity to have partnered, and continue to partner, with numerous state wildlife agencies and wildlife species. My desire to continue to do research that directly informs management decisions and my interest in teaching is a natural fit for a career in academia. I hope to be a tenured faculty member at a university or college, where I conduct applied research, collaborate, and teach classes.

Exploring Landscape and Environmental Drivers of Pronghorn Movement and Demography Across Spatiotemporal Scales

My Ph.D. research is focused on tackling the outstanding problem of linking dynamic resource availability and the associated movement behaviors to the resulting demographic processes. In other words, how much more likely am I to survive and have lots of babies given my decision to move or not in response to dynamic resources available to me. This question is even more exciting when applied to population and regional-level scales. To address the outstanding problem of linking demography, behavior, and resources, I have partnered with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to studying resource selection, migratory behaviors, and survival of nearly 1,000 pronghorn across South Dakota and Montana. This project is a highly collaborative and large-scale project, two things that make it very inspiring and energizing.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt