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Dan Wright

Advisors: Chadwick Rittenhouse and Tracy Rittenhouse

My research interests lie in the realm of spatial ecology. After graduating with my bachelor’s in 2014, I’ve spent time working for multiple wildlife agencies around the US, gaining skills necessary to my career and understanding my own motivations before pursuing an M.S. degree. My experience includes working as a volunteer in the Everglades on a Marsh Rabbit project, as a Wildlife Technician for Bat Conservation International, a Wildlife Specialist for the USDA in Alaska, a Forestry Assistant for the DCR in Massachusetts, a tech for the DEEP in Connecticut, and a lab tech for Kevin McGarigal at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In each of these positions, I’ve made it a point to further my understanding of spatial ecology and utilize ArcGIS in my day-to-day tasks.

Understanding how wildlife respond to habitat modifications and the influence that we as ecological stewards have is a driving factor for my research. My current project focuses on the response of bats in Connecticut to forest management practices. More specifically, how forests manipulated for wildlife habitat improve or degrade as a foraging area for bats over time. As population sizes of cave-dwelling bats in the Northeastern US have severely declined following the spread of white-nose syndrome, an invasive fungal pathogen caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans, understanding how remaining bats utilize forest patches managed for wildlife habitat can be essential towards conservation efforts. Through the end of this project, I hope to contribute to our understanding of habitat use of temperate bats and assist in the recovery effort of bats in Connecticut. 

Dan again

Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087