When I was in high school I had no idea that I would one day be training dogs and wolves to run on treadmills as a graduate student! Biology was always my favorite subject and I loved being outdoors, but back then I had no clue that it was possible to combine these things into a meaningful career that was both enjoyable and challenging.
Today, I study the exercise physiology and movement ecology of top predators like wolves and mountain lions. Though these carnivores are often feared or misunderstood, I’m discovering just how important they are in structuring the landscapes they inhabit. For instance, wolves are largely responsible for abundant trees, clear water, and beavers in places like Yellowstone! The goal of my research is to figure out how and where these predators move in their habitat, what behaviors they exhibit, and how much energy they expend to live their lives at the top of the food chain. My research not only allows me to spend time outdoors tracking amazing animals, it also gives me the chance to help other scientists figure out how to protect these rare and incredible animals from the variety of challenges they face in our changing climate.
My interest in physiological ecology has given me opportunities that I never dreamed were possible–from monitoring black jaguars in the mountainous rain forests of Costa Rica to assessing how bison herds in Nebraska use the prairies in the breeding season. As a SCWIBLES fellow, I hope to be able to not only share my experience and knowledge about the natural world around us, but also to show students how creative and engaging science really is!
Contact Caleb: email@example.com and Website