Just a quick update on a room change for the seminar — it will be in Borlaug 365 at 1pm, July 11. The official announcement is below!
PhD Defense Seminar in the
Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior Graduate Program
Advised by: Dr. Craig Packer
1:00 pm, Friday, July 11
365 Borlaug Hall
“Living with lions: spatiotemporal mechanisms of intraguild predator coexistence”
Top predators often suppress their smaller guild members and this can have profound consequences that cascade throughout the larger community. Suppression is mediated primarily through interference competition: direct aggressive interactions and behavioral avoidance by mesopredators to minimize the risk of aggression. These avoidance responses can be costly, especially when they result in large-scale displacement that reduces access of the subordinate species to resources. My dissertation explores the role of behavioral avoidance in driving intraguild predator dynamics, specifically hypothesizing that large-scale displacement drives mesopredator suppression, but that fine-scale avoidance strategies may promote coexistence by minimizing risk without costly large-scale displacement. Specifically, I examine how African lions affect spotted hyenas, cheetahs, and African wild dogs in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. I first evaluate evidence for mesopredator suppression and large-scale displacement using long-term historical data. I then evaluate patterns of avoidance at fine spatiotemporal scales using novel camera-trapping methods and citizen science. Together, these studies identify large-scale displacement as a key driver of mesopredator suppression and fine-scale avoidance as a key mechanism for mesopredator persistence.