Yiwei Wang – Graduate Fellow 2011-12

YWangI am a conservation biologist, which means I study species to figure out how to make sure they don’t disappear. As a PhD student on the Santa Cruz Puma Project, I study mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains to figure out how they can keep living in this area as the number of people increases. Mountain lions are predators, which means they eat other animals. They play an extremely important role in our ecosystem because they prevent animals like deer from overpopulating and eating all the plants. However, because they need large areas to find prey, mountain lions are often the first animals to disappear as people build more roads and houses and break up their habitat. I hope my research will help demonstrate that there should be room in the mountains for both people and mountain lions.

When I was going to high school in Cupertino, I didn’t really know anything about nature and I wish someone had told me how many awesome animals, plants, and hiking trails were just a few miles away from me. Through SCWIBLES, I hope to work with high school students to help them discover and learn to love the natural world at a young age through activities and field trips.YiweiWang_Poster2011_thumb

Contact Yiwei: yixwang@ucsc.edu