Eric Abelson joins the La Kretz Center as first Postdoctoral Fellow in California Conservation Science

Eric Abelson
Eric Abelson

Eric Abelson received his B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley, and his M.S. and PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. Dr. Abelson’s research is focused on mammalian conservation, conservation biology, and the relationship between extinction and animal behavior. He has a strong interest in the interaction between urban settings and adjacent wildlife ecosystems.

Eric joins us to contribute to the La Kretz Center’s mission of preserving biodiversity in southern California including the greater Los Angeles area. His research will use wildlife road-kill data in the Santa Monica Mountains to address a key question in conservation biology: why do animals cross roads where they do, and can we encourage them to cross at safer locations? This research will attempt to identify species-specific landscape-level indicators of habitat permeability, focusing on situations where wildlife perception of safe, permeable habitat does not match the reality of human-altered landscape.

Dr. Abelson will join us in April 2014, and will be jointly mentored by Professor Dan Blumstein (Dept. of EEB, UCLA) and Dr. Seth Riley (US National Park Service). In accepting the position, he said "I was attracted to the La Kretz postdoctoral fellowship because it represents a rare, but critically important, opportunity to advance applied conservation in California from a strong academic foundation. I am dedicated to conservation in California and, as a research biologist, I am looking forward to working with UCLA, the National Park Service and the extended La Kretz community to develop implementable tools that can help protect wildlife in increasingly human-dominated landscapes."