Webb to talk wildlife spatial models at Nov. 6 fall seminar

Stephen Webb
Stephen Webb

Stephen Webb, range and wildlife specialist at the Noble Research Institute, will present "Spatially Explicit, Individual-based Models to Prioritize Wildlife Habitat for Conservation" at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in Hardin Hall auditorium.

The presentation is part of the SNR Fall Seminar Series, which brings in leading scientists to cover a diverse range of topics, including drought and climate change; fisheries health and wildlife populations; soil health and Nebraska crops; and stakeholder engagement. The event is free and open to the public.

Resource selection modeling has strong applications in conservation because resource selection is a fundamental ecological process shaping movement and distribution, and offers spatially explicit guidance for targeted management. As animals move across the landscape, they must make trade-offs associated with resource selection to meet needs of survival and reproduction, and for minimizing risk. Fitness is influenced by resource-related decisions by individuals where each resource choice has costs and benefits associated with it. Therefore, individual variation (also referred to as heterogeneity) warrants further investigation in resource selection modeling and how it structures demographic performance such as survival. Studies of Rocky Mountain elk and greater sage-grouse will be presented to highlight the conceptual framework to study individual variation in resource selection and its applications for modeling demographic outcomes and functional responses, and improving conservation and management. Further examples of hierarchical resource selection and movement models will be highlighted for wild pigs and white-tailed deer.

Dr. Stephen Webb received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in range and wildlife management. Before pursuing his Ph.D., Webb worked as a Research Associate for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Webb then moved to Starkville, Mississippi to continue his research on white-tailed deer at Mississippi State University. Webb was then hired by a private, natural resource consulting firm in Laramie, Wyoming where he joined the research branch to oversee big game research projects. Having collaborated with the Noble Research Institute during his Ph.D., Webb took an opportunity with Noble in 2012 where he has been since. Webb currently serves as the Range and Wildlife Scientist, overseeing the Range and Wildlife Ecology Group.

More details at: http://snr.unl.edu