Gotham Coyote is a collaboration of researchers and educators from several institutions around the region working together to better understand coyotes and their role in our urban ecosystem. We are very proud that our team has included dozens of students over the years. Providing opportunities for high school students to conduct wildlife research in their own backyards has been a central component of what we do. We look forward to many more students to come.
Mark Weckel is a Brooklyn born, Bronx and Manhattan educated, Queens resident, conservation scientist and co-founder of Gotham Coyote . He did his graduate work at Fordham University and the City University of New York where he worked on jaguar conservation and white-tailed deer management, respectively. Mark is currently runs the Science Research Mentoring Program at the American Museum of Natural History where NYC high school students have the opportunity to join ongoing research projects lead by AMNH scientists. He is also a visiting scientist at the AMNH's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation where he was a postdoc.
Chris Nagy is the co-founder of Gotham Coyote and has worked in NYC as a wildlife biologist since 2001. His graduate work at Fordham University and CUNY focused on the population biology of eastern screech owls in NYC, and he has always been interested in learning how wildlife can make a living in an urban environment. He is currently Director of Research at the Mianus River Gorge in Westchester, NY Chris contributes his expertise in population and occupancy modeling as well as a thorough knowledge of NYC parks.
Anne Toomey is a conservation social scientist who is interested in how people connect to their natural environment and the role of science in supporting that connection. She recently completed her PhD in Human Geography at Lancaster University, which sought to understand local perceptions of scientific research in the Bolivian Amazon. Previous to her doctorate she worked in community development and environmental sustainability in Nicaragua, Mexico and New York City. In 2009, together with Mark Weckel and Chris Nagy, she co-created the first study of coyotes in the metropolitan area, which would later become the Gotham Coyote Project. Anne is currently a professor of Environmental Studies at Pace University.
Ferdie Yau is a wildlife biologist with a MA in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Ferdie has studied jaguar in Belize, worked as an Ecological Project Manager for the City of New York, and trained a diversity of wildlife including polar bears, penguins, and river otters at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo. He started Sits & Wiggles Dog Training in 2011 and has connected with the Gotham Coyote Project to train dogs to detect coyote scat. In the summer, Ferdie mentors high school students at Wave Hill to study the behavior and movements of coyotes in NYC.
Carol Henger joins us after working as a primate keeper at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. During that time she completed her Master’s degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Fordham University where she is focused on learning how large mammals utilize highly urbanized landscapes. She is currently using genetic analysis and landscape modeling of coyotes in New York City to predict movement patterns and barriers to gene flow. The results of her work will provide us with a "family tree" of NYC coyotes.
Neil Duncan is the Collections Manager for the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. He is responsible for the day to day operations of the department as well as implementing collections improvement projects. Before coming to the museum he worked in various parts of the country employed in different wildlife and fisheries jobs. One of his favorites was working as a biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service studying forest carnivores in Northern California. Since that time Neil has analyzed over 3000 scats and has been involved in diet studies of fishers, martens, fox and coyotes from localities around North America. Neil is currently leading our coyote diet research.
Jason Munshi-South is an Associate Professor at Fordham University. He maintains a lab at the Louis Calder Center, Fordham's biological field station in Armonk, NY, and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at Fordham's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. His research group is dedicated to studying the ecology and evolution of urban wildlife. A particular focus of the lab is applying the latest population genomic techniques to understand how urban populations are adapting to cities.
Learn more at http://nycevolution.org/
Learn more at http://nycevolution.org/
Russell Burke is a Professor of Biology and Donald E. Axinn Distinguished Professor in Ecology and Conservation at Hofstra University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate disease ecology, invasion ecology, biostatistics, and introductory ecology and evolution. His lab studies local community ecology through investigations of the diets, predators, and population dynamics of feral cats, raccoons, opossums, box turtles, wood turtles, and diamondback terrapins. Current goals include improving the use of wildlife monitoring techniques that can work well in urban and suburban habitats, and including red cox and urban coyotes into studies of Long Island wildlife dynamics. See http://russelllburke.wix.com/labs.
Barry Kogan is the Senior Manager for Youth Programs and Woodland Initiatives at Wave Hill where he worked since 2010. He oversees two major internship programs for NYC teens - the Forest Project, a summer internship program for high school students, and the Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship program, an intensive 14-month program where high school students explore the restoration ecology of NYC’s natural areas and complete an authentic research project under the mentorship of a local scientist. Wave Hill and the Gotham Coyote Project partner to teach students about wildlife ecology, set up camera traps in Wave Hill’s woodlands and engage students in meaningful research. Barry holds a Master’s degree from Hunter College’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, and is passionate about engaging high school students in environmenl issues.
Anthony Caragiulo is the Program Manager of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. His graduate work at Fordham University focused on the population and conservation genetics of pumas across. Anthony continues to lead projects examining the population genetics of large carnivores using non-invasive genetic techniques. Anthony has also been a mentor in the Science Research Mentoring Program at AMNH for the past six years, and his students are currently working on using environmental DNA to survey mammal communities in NYC Parks. He is also currently collaborating with researchers from Princeton's Canine Ancestry lab to investigate the hybrid ancestry of northeastern coyotes in NYC and Long Island
Olivia Allison Asher currently attends Macauly Honors College at Lehman where she is studying biology. Olivia started working with Gotham Coyote as a high school intern in the Science Research Mentoring Program at the AMNH and continues to study the diet of NYC coyotes during her gap year, leads field testing of telemetry equipment, and runs Gotham Coyote's social media and blog. Olivia is also a Teaching Assistant for the AMNH's Lang Science Program where she is helping students design a game on NYC coyotes. In addition to her work on coyotes, Olivia writes about a variety of scientific topics on her blog The Science Notebook.
Brielle Manzolillo is a recent graduate from Pace University where she received her undergrad degree in Environmental Studies. She began working with the Gotham Coyote Project during her senior year at Pace. Her research focuses on human perceptions of urban coyotes in New York City. Currently, she is continuing this research and has future plans to attend graduate school to study Animal Behavior and Conservation.