Ellie Bolas Graduate Group in Ecology, MS Candidate University of California, Davis firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @ecbolas orcid id: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5604-2942
Ellie is interested in island ecology, wildlife ecology, and conservation of carnivores. She researches ecological relationships such as interspecies interactions and wildlife responses to humans and the environment.
Ellie's graduate research is on two rare insular endemics, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis) and the island spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis amphiala) on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. The relationship between these two species is not well understood, thus, one of her research questions investigates interference competition and niche partitioning between the two carnivores. Additionally, the current status of island spotted skunks is unknown, but they appear to be rare on both islands. A second project compares multiple detection methods to examine whether skunks are as rare as they appear and to test monitoring efforts. Finally, the evolutionary history of island spotted skunks is unknown. Ellie's third project, in collaboration with the Ben Sacks Lab, investigates the timing of island colonization by skunks to help explain the method of colonization and the level of differentiation between island and mainland spotted skunk populations.The video below gives a brief outline of some of these projects (and includes cute skunk videos!) Prior to entering graduate school, Ellie contributed to urban carnivore research with the National Park Service, studying mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and greater Los Angeles. She also worked for over 12 years in outdoor science education, and has experience teaching at outdoor science schools, leading citizen science clubs, and creating and running environmental service camps. As an educator, she focuses on student-driven inquiry, development of creative thinking skills, and promoting diversity and equity in science.