Researcher biography


Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology (University of Colorado- Boulder)
Bachelor of the Arts in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Magna cum Laude (University of Colorado- Boulder

Project title:

The ecological impacts of apex predator declines in tropical forest food-webs

Project description:

Zachary is a wildlife ecologist who pairs technology in the field with robust statistical methods to understand how hyper-diverse tropical forest wildlife communities are impacted by a wide range of disturbances. The loss of world’s largest vertebrates is a conspicuous potent of the Anthropocene Mass Extinction Event, and Zachary’s first PhD chapter documented the threatening process affecting Southeast Asia’s diverse megafauna assemblage. He found many tropical forests across Southeast Asia currently lack their largest carnivores, such as tigers and leopards, so he has developed a novel statistical method to quantify species interactions across a gradient of carnivore abundance, including where they are absent, using observational camera trapping data. With the help of international collaborations, Zachary has applied this novel method to one of the largest camera trap datasets compiled for the region to understand both the top-down (e.g., predation) and bottom-up (resource limitation) forces that shape tropical forest food-webs. Zachary is also involved in the “Wildlife Observatory of Australia (WildObs)”, where he has lead the collection of new camera trapping surveys across Queensland’s Wet Tropics rainforest to assess interactions between invasive and native species.


Dr. Matthew S LuskinDr James E.M. Watson