Brian D. Gerber

Brian D. Gerber
University of Rhode Island | URI · Department of Natural Resources Science

PhD

About

105
Publications
28,393
Reads
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1,185
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
University of Rhode Island
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2016 - August 2017
Colorado State University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2015 - August 2016
Colorado State University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (105)
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife road mortality tends to aggregate spatially at locations commonly referred to as road mortality hotspots. Predictive models can be used to identify locations appropriate for mitigation measures that reduce road mortality. However, the influence of imperfect detection (e.g., false absences) during road mortality surveys can lead to inaccura...
Article
Full-text available
Current methods to model species habitat use through space and diel time are limited. Development of such models is critical when considering rapidly changing habitats where species are forced to adapt to anthropogenic change, often by shifting their diel activity across space. We use an occupancy modeling framework to specify the multi-state diel...
Article
Full-text available
In many regions of the world, forest management has reduced old forest and simplified forest structure and composition. We hypothesized that such forest degradation has resulted in long-term habitat loss for forest-associated bird species of eastern Canada (130,017 km2) which, in turn, has caused bird-population declines. Despite little change in o...
Article
Full-text available
Time is a fundamental component of ecological processes. How animal behavior changes over time has been explored through well-known ecological theories like niche partitioning and predator-prey dynamics. Yet, changes in animal behavior within the shorter 24-hour light-dark cycle have largely gone unstudied. Understanding if an animal can adjust the...
Article
Human developments have detrimental effects on wildlife populations globally with carnivores being particularly sensitive. The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is often considered an adaptable mesocarnivore that occurs throughout varied landcover types within its wide distribution and may be less susceptible to the negative effects of development. Our objective...
Article
Tropical biodiversity is threatened globally by anthropogenic disturbances, particularly forest degradation and overhunting. Where large mammals have been extirpated, smaller bodied “mesomammals” may play an important ecological role (e.g., as seed dispersers). However, these species are disproportionally affected by overhunting for wildlife trade...
Article
Madagascar is a threatened global biodiversity hotspot and conservation priority, yet we lack broadscale surveys to assess biodiversity across space and time. To fill this gap, we collated camera trap surveys, capturing species occurrences within Madagascar into a single standardized database. This dataset includes nine distinct protected areas of...
Article
Full-text available
Reduced food availability is implicated in declines of avian aerial insectivores, but the effect of nutritional stress on mammalian aerial insectivores is unclear. Unlike birds, insectivorous bats provision their young through lactation, which might protect nursing juveniles when prey availability is low but could increase the energetic burden on l...
Article
Lynx rufus (Bobcat) is a wide-ranging and highly adaptable predator whose populations are increasing throughout much of its natural range including in the New England states, yet there are only limited empirical ecological studies there. How Bobcats are responding to the unique modern landscape of southern New England with its highly forested lands...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat selection is a fundamental animal behavior that shapes a wide range of ecological processes, including animal movement, nutrient transfer, trophic dynamics and population distribution. Although habitat selection has been a focus of ecological studies for decades, technological, conceptual and methodological advances over the last 20 years h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Time is a fundamental component of ecological processes. How animal behavior changes over time has been explored through well-known ecological theories like niche partitioning and predator-prey dynamics. Yet, changes in animal behavior within the shorter 24-hour light-dark cycle have largely gone unstudied. Understanding if an animal can adjust the...
Preprint
Full-text available
In many regions of the world, forest management has reduced old forest and simplified forest structure and composition via reliance on monoculture tree plantations. We hypothesized that such forest degradation has resulted in long-term habitat loss for forest-associated bird species of eastern Canada (130,017 km2) which, in turn, has affected bird...
Preprint
Full-text available
Current methods to model species habitat use through space and diel time are limited. Development of such models is critical when considering rapidly changing habitats where species are forced to adapt to anthropogenic change, often by shifting their diel activity across space. We use an occupancy modeling framework to develop a new model, the mult...
Article
Full-text available
With the accelerating pace of global change, it is imperative that we obtain rapid inventories of the status and distribution of wildlife for ecological inferences and conservation planning. To address this challenge, we launched the SNAPSHOT USA project, a collaborative survey of terrestrial wildlife populations using camera traps across the Unite...
Article
Anthropogenic habitat modification is a major driver of global biodiversity loss. In North America, one of the primary sources of habitat modification over the last 2 decades has been exploration for and production of oil and natural gas (hydrocarbon development), which has led to demographic and behavioral impacts to numerous wildlife species. Dev...
Article
en • Madagascar’s native carnivorans are an endemic monophyletic group of eight extant species belonging to the family Eupleridae. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently classifies seven of the species as threatened (Vulnerable or Endangered), as their populations are in decline due to intensifying anthropogenic pressu...
Article
Ranging behavior is one important strategy by which nonhuman primates obtain access to resources critical to their biological maintenance and reproductive success. As most primates live in permanent social groups, their members must balance the benefits of group living with the costs of intragroup competition for resources. However, some taxa live...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Madagascar is an island nation renowned for its biodiversity and species endemism, yet it is still largely understudied, despite intense anthropogenic threats, including forest loss and edge effects. Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve is a recently expanded rainforest protected area that is lacking detailed surveys and assessments of the na...
Article
Full-text available
Theory predicts that species requiring multiple habitat types simultaneously should have heightened sensitivity to anthropogenic pressures, yet tests of this prediction are especially rare. We tested whether breeding site occupancy of the threatened marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) was driven by the synergistic effects of nesting habitat...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal environmental conditions shape the behavior and life history of virtually all organisms. Climate change is modifying these seasonal environmental conditions, which threatens to disrupt population dynamics. It is conceivable that climatic changes may be beneficial in one season but result in detrimental conditions in another because life-hi...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of elusive carnivores often rely on passive sampling when investigating either spatial or temporal interactions. However, inference on behavioral mechanisms are usually lacking. We present an analysis that combines previously published spatial co-occurrence estimates and temporal kernel density estimates to explore spatiotemporal interspeci...
Article
Full-text available
Avian electrocutions on power poles affect raptor populations globally. Mitigation strategies in the USA are typically bottom-up, combining risk assessments for individual poles into a utility-specific avian protection plan. This approach is usually reactive, relying on incidental documentation of electrocutions for initiation, and can allow uncoor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ranging behavior is one important strategy by which nonhuman primates obtain access to resources critical to their biological maintenance and reproductive success. As most primates live in permanent social groups, their members must balance the benefits of group living with the costs of intragroup competition for resources. However, some taxa live...
Article
Studies of elusive carnivores often rely on passive sampling when investigating either spatial or temporal interactions. However, inference on behavioral mechanisms are usually lacking. We present an analysis that combines previously published spatial co-occurrence estimates and temporal kernel density estimates to explore spatiotemporal interspeci...
Article
Full-text available
Resource selection is often studied by ecologists interested in the environmental drivers of animal space use and movement. These studies commonly produce spatial predictions, which are of considerable utility to resource managers making habitat and population management decisions. It is thus paramount that predictions from resource selection studi...
Article
Full-text available
Javan Rhinos are interesting and mysterious creatures. These rhinos used to live all throughout Northeast India and Southeast Asia. But, the rainforests they need are disappearing. This loss of their habitat, in addition to human development and hunting, are the main reasons they are now only in one spot in the world. A few scientists put on their...
Article
Full-text available
1. Animal site fidelity structures space-use, population demography, and ultimately gene flow. Understanding the adaptive selection for site fidelity patterns provides a mechanistic understanding to both spatial and population processes. This can be achieved by linking space-use with environmental variability (spatial and temporal) and demographic...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192819.].
Article
The distribution of mammals is determined by a suite of endogenous and exogenous factors. In territorial, polygynous species like tigers (Panthera tigris), males often center their space-use around female territories, repelling competitors from these areas. Competition among males for females leads to increased mortality of both sexes and infantici...
Article
Full-text available
Background Characterizing animal space use is critical for understanding ecological relationships. Animal telemetry technology has revolutionized the fields of ecology and conservation biology by providing high quality spatial data on animal movement. Radio-telemetry with very high frequency (VHF) radio signals continues to be a useful technology b...
Article
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Political borders and natural boundaries of wildlife populations seldom coincide, often to the detriment of conservation objectives. Transnational monitoring of endangered carnivores is rare, but is necessary for accurate population monitoring and coordinated conservation policies. We investigate the benefits of collaboratively monitoring the abund...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation and management decision making in natural resources is challenging due to numerous uncertainties and unknowns, especially relating to understanding system dynamics. Adaptive resource management (ARM) is a formal process to making logical and transparent recurrent decisions when there are uncertainties about system dynamics. Despite wid...
Preprint
Characterizing animal space use is critical to understand ecological relationships. Despite many decades of using radio-telemetry to track animals and make spatial inference, there are few statistical options to handle these unique data and no synthetic framework for modeling animal location uncertainty and accounting for it in ecological models. W...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding patterns of species occurrence and the processes underlying these patterns is fundamental to the study of ecology. One of the more commonly used approaches to investigate species occurrence patterns is occupancy modeling, which can account for imperfect detection of a species during surveys. In recent years, there has been a prolifera...
Data
Animation of relationship between normal prior distributions on logit and probability scales. Probability density on probability (top panel) and untransformed (bottom panel) scale for normal priors with different values of σ2 (black boxes). (PDF)
Data
Depiction of transformation between logit and probability scale. For each value on the x-axis, which are untransformed, the y-axis is the corresponding value that has been transformed to the probability scale. (PDF)
Data
Supplemental results for analysis of avian occupancy. Value of variance (σ2) for mean 0 Normal prios on α and β or prior used, and posterior medians for α, β for the mature forest covariate, β for the distance (dist.) to edge covariate, and p for occupancy models fit to data from gray jays (GRJA), Steller’s jays (STJA) and song sparrows (SOSP) in t...
Data
Supplemental results for gray jay analysis. Posterior distributions (solid lines) of α from Bayesian occupancy models with different values for σ2 on the prior for α fit to gray jay data. Maximum likelihood estimate is shown by the dashed vertical line. Panel A presents the posteriors transformed to the probability scale, which equals the estimate...
Data
Example JAGS code to fit occupancy model with covariates. (PDF)
Data
Example JAGS code to fit occupancy model with no covariates. (PDF)
Data
Example JAGS code to fit occupancy model with covariates with a logistic distribution. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed...
Article
Sparse detections in camera trap surveys commonly hinder density estimation for threatened species. By combining detections across multiple surveys, or using informative priors in Bayesian model fitting, researchers can improve parameter estimation from sparse capture–recapture data. Using a spatial mark–resight model that incorporates site‐level h...
Article
Full-text available
1. Madagascar is home to the smallest primates in the world, the mouse lemurs (Microcebus species). Twenty-four species of mouse lemur are currently recognised and are found in variable ecosystems, from dry forests and spiny deserts to humid forests. Due to their widespread distribution and the large number of sympatric species, mouse lemurs can be...
Article
Protected areas (PA) aim to eliminate many of the threats that species face on the greater landscape. In the last three decades, PA's have expanded considerably; however, quantitative assessments of how well they have mitigated threats to habitat and biodiversity are very limited. Habitat bordering PA's and the wildlife that use it are threatened b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding patterns of species occurrence and the processes underlying these patterns is fundamental to the study of ecology. One of the more commonly used approaches to investigate species occurrence patterns is occupancy modeling, which can account for imperfect detection of a species during surveys. In recent years, there has been a prolifera...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of climate on the population dynamics of rainforest vertebrates is known only for a limited subset of species and study locations. To extend this knowledge, we carried out an 8-year population study of a Viverrid (Malay civet Viverra tangalunga) in the Wallacea biogeographical region (Buton Island, Sulawesi). Civets were trapped annually...
Article
Full-text available
The Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of the most threatened mammals on Earth. The only remaining individuals live as part of a small population isolated in a single protected area, Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia. Despite almost a century of studies, little is known about the factors that affect Javan rhino demography and distri...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring animal populations can be difficult. Limited resources often force monitoring programs to rely on unadjusted or smoothed counts as an index of abundance. Smoothing counts is commonly done using a moving average estimator to dampen sampling variation. These indices are commonly used to inform management decisions, although their reliabili...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions can represent important threats to endemic species, including those within the invaders’ food webs. The Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was introduced to Madagascar in 2011. This introduction presents a potentially dangerous prey item to a relatively naı¨ve, highly diverse endemic carnivore fauna. Using a multiva...
Article
Decision-analytic models provide forecasts of how systems of interest will respond to management. These models can be parameterized using empirical data, but sometimes require information elicited from experts. When evaluating the effects of disease in species translocation programs, expert judgment is likely to play a role because complete empiric...
Article
Full-text available
Raptor and corvid electrocutions cause continental conservation concerns for breeding, migrating, and wintering birds. Although concerns are widespread, mitigation is implemented primarily at local scales of individual electric utilities. By not considering landscape-scale patterns, conservation strategies may fail to focus mitigation where efforts...
Thesis
Full-text available
Managing wild animal populations can be challenging. There are often uncertainties about population dynamics, the short- and long-term effects of management actions, and challenges to logistically and financially monitoring key population parameters, which can lead to uncertainty about the meaning of parameters that are monitored and result in many...
Article
1.Prediction is fundamental to scientific inquiry and application; however, ecologists tend to favor explanatory modeling. We discuss a predictive modeling framework to evaluate ecological hypotheses and to explore novel/unobserved environmental scenarios to assist conservation and management decision makers. We apply this framework to develop an o...
Article
Madagascar's Eupleridae carnivores are perhaps the least studied and most threatened family of Carnivora. Investigating potential direct and indirect competition among these native species and sympatric exotic carnivores is necessary to better direct conservation actions. From 2008 to 2013, we photographically surveyed a diverse rainforest landscap...