I am interested in using an integrative approach to study the terrestrial ecology of wild animals.

My graduate research at the University of New Mexico in the Newsome Lab (beginning in fall 2019) will combine tools such as stable isotope analysis with field methods to study the community ecology of small mammals at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. This work will center around how small mammal communities use resources in highly variable, arid environments.

My research background is in animal behavior, so I look forward to evaluating the response to resource variation on multiple ecological levels. More specifically, I would like to look at how foraging behavior changes in response to variation in primary productivity, and how this behavioral variation in turn influences fitness and population dynamics. This will ultimately allow us to better understand how small mammal communities in arid ecosystems might respond to larger-scale environmental change.

My undergraduate research at the University of California, Davis focused on elephant behavior. I investigated the nature of human-elephant interactions in a captive setting, and conducted several studies on yawning and contagious yawning in African elephants.

Full text copies of my published research papers are available here.

You can get in touch with me by emailing or for photo-related inquiries.

Zoë lab photo