We are proud to congratulate Michelle Peach, coadvised by Dr. Cohen and Dr. Frair, for successfully defending her dissertation this week. Michelle's project is entitled "Evaluating The Roles of Protected Areas in Mitigating Species' Reponses to Climate and Land Use Change." For her dissertation, Michelle developed a new dynamic occupancy model for Breeding Bird Atlas data, and applied it to 97 species of birds in New York and Pennsylvania. She documented trends in block-level colonization and extinction based on species habitat preference and breeding range, among other factors. Michelle has had a very successful program at SUNY-ESF. She served as the primary instructor for our capstone Wildlife Major course, received a best paper award at the North American Ornithological Conference, and published one of her dissertation chapters in Journal of Applied Ecology. From here she will go on to a post-doc at University of Rhode Island. It has been wonderful working with Michelle and we wish her all the best!
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