Roads endanger wildlife persistence in a myriad of ways. In addition to negatively influencing connectivity, community dynamics and genetic diversity, roads directly threaten human/wildlife safety as wildlife enter, and are struck by vehicles, on the roadway. Fundamentally there is a mismatch between wildlife's perception of the danger that accompany vehicles and the actual threats vehicles pose. My current postdoctoral research, in collaboration with Daniel Blumstein (UCLA) and Seth Riley (National Park Service), works to decrease the impacts of roads through research on wildlife perception at the roadside. The focus of this research is to discourage wildlife from areas that put animals and humans at the greatest risk (e.g. curving roads with low visibility) and encourage wildlife crossing at safe locations (e.g. wildlife underpasses). Additionally, I am examining how climate change might influence wildlife movement and alter their interactions with humans into the future.
Broadly speaking, my research program links wildlife biology, ecology, and conservation science to understand ways in which human-driven environmental change alters wildlife behavior and persistence. I earned my Ph.D. and M.S. at Stanford University where I worked to identify why some mammals are more extinction-resistant than others.
Abelson, E.S. Brain size is correlated with endangerment status in mammals. (In review, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Abelson, E.S. Camera-Traps Affect Behavior and Bias Data Collected for Deer. (In submission, Biological Conservation)
Garcia-Molina, H., S. Kandel, A. Paepcke, M. Theobald, and E.S. Abelson. 'Spreadsheet System and Method for Managing Photos,' Patent publication number: US 2010/0058163 A1 U.S. Classification: 715/220
Sundaresan, S., C. Riginos, E.S. Abelson. Storage and Analysis of Camera Trap Data: Alternative Approaches (Response to Harris et al. 2010). Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.
Kandel, S., E.S. Abelson, H. Garcia-Molina, A. Paepcke & M. Theobald. 2008. PhotoSpread: A Spreadsheet for Managing Photos. Computer/Human Interactions, 2008 Proceedings 1749-1758 Available online at: http://dbpubs.stanford.edu:8090/pub/2007-28