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Beth Fitzpatrick|Meet the Science Posse

PhD Candidate in Ecology, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

Graduate Fellow

Topics Beth can bring to your classroom:

Environmental Science
Ornithology (Birds)
Population Biology
Conservation Biology
Urban Ecology


B.S. in Zoology, from the University of Maryland, 2002
M.S. in Biology, from Towson University, 2011

Current Research:

My current research focuses on the effect of development on the distribution and connectivity (gene flow) of Greater Sage-Grouse leks (breeding sites). Leks are found at specific locations within sagebrush habitat and many habitat or landscape characteristics may influence those locations. Development is known to increase the likelihood of lek abandonment and has been associated with sage-grouse population declines. One process that helps breeding sites persist is dispersal of offspring to different lek sites. This can be assessed by measuring gene flow or connectivity between pairs of breeding sites. Certain habitat and landscape characteristics may also be associated with successful dispersal. Habitat and landscape characteristics found to influence distribution and connectivity of leks can then be used to predict how distribution and connectivity of leks might change with development or restoration of sagebrush habitat. This will allow both land managers and developers to make decisions on where to prioritize restoration efforts.


I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where anytime the weather was nice was spent outside. Family vacations were spent camping, canoeing, visiting state and national parks, and generally enjoying the outdoors. Because of these experiences I knew that I would have a career that kept me outside and exploring. I enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, skiing and really anything outside! I have really enjoyed mentoring and teaching students in the past and am excited to share my passion for science and exploration through Science Posse!

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“Wilderness is the one kind of playground which mankind cannot build to order” Aldo Leopold

I am an adventurer at heart! I have always enjoyed where my passion for science and the outdoors has taken me, whether it be going on a short hike close to home or deciding to move to Wyoming in pursuit of my Ph.D. I am looking forward to teaching students how exciting science can be. Furthermore, I am excited to learn new things, meet new people, and experience new places.

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