Justine A. Smith

Justine A. Smith
University of California, Davis | UCD · Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

PhD

About

30
Publications
12,402
Reads
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1,160
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - October 2019
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2011 - June 2017
University of California, Santa Cruz
Field of study
  • Environmental Studies
August 2006 - May 2010
University of Colorado Boulder
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of predation risk on prey populations have been studied extensively; yet, how risk is manifested in a trophically‐linked guild – scavengers – has been overlooked. Risk could be particularly consequential for obligate scavengers that are vulnerable while foraging and rely on carrion provisioned by, and shared with, apex predators. We inv...
Article
Full-text available
A narrative in ecology is that prey modify traits to reduce predation risk, and the trait modification has costs large enough to cause ensuing demographic, trophic and ecosystem consequences, with implications for conservation, management and agriculture. But ecology has a long history of emphasising that quantifying the importance of an ecological...
Article
Full-text available
Disease outbreaks induced by humans increasingly threaten wildlife communities worldwide. Like predators, pathogens can be key top‐down forces in ecosystems, initiating trophic cascades that may alter food webs. An outbreak of mange in a remote Andean protected area caused a dramatic population decline in a mammalian herbivore (the vicuña), creatin...
Preprint
Despite growing evidence of widespread impacts of humans on the behavior of animals, our understanding of how humans reshape species interactions remains limited. Here, we present a framework that draws on key concepts from behavioral and community ecology to outline four primary pathways by which humans can alter predator-prey spatiotemporal overl...
Article
Predation risk, the probability that a prey animal will be killed by a predator, is fundamental to theoretical and applied ecology. Predation risk varies with animal behavior and environmental conditions, yet attempts to understand predation risk in natural systems often ignore important ecological and environmental complexities, relying instead on...
Article
Full-text available
Species assemblages often have a non‐random nested organization, which in vertebrate scavenger (carrion‐consuming) assemblages is thought to be driven by facilitation in competitive environments. However, not all scavenger species play the same role in maintaining assemblage structure, as some species are obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) and ot...
Article
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Human activity has rapidly transformed the planet, leading to declines of animal populations around the world through a range of direct and indirect pathways. Humans have strong numerical effects on wild animal populations, as highly efficient hunters and through unintentional impacts of human activity and development. Human disturbance also induce...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory ungulates are thought to be declining globally because their dependence on large landscapes renders them highly vulnerable to environmental change. Yet recent studies reveal that many ungulate species can adjust their migration propensity in response to changing environmental conditions to potentially improve population persistence. In ad...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Wildlife populations are increasingly challenged by human activities that disrupt landscape connectivity and animal movement, and thus population dynamics and persistence. Yet modified habitats may provide resource subsidies for generalist species resulting in increased selection of disturbed areas. Understanding how species adjust thei...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wildlife populations are increasingly challenged by human activities that disrupt landscape connectivity, animal movement, population dynamics and population persistence. Yet modified habitats may provide resource subsidies for generalist species resulting in increased selection of disturbed areas. Understanding how species adjust their space use a...
Article
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Predator-prey games emerge when predators and prey dynamically respond to the behavior of one another, driving the outcomes of predator-prey interactions. Predation success is a function of the combined probabilities of encountering and capturing prey, which are influenced by both prey behavior and environmental features. While the relative importa...
Article
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The organization of ecological assemblages has important implications for ecosystem functioning, but little is known about how scavenger communities organize at the global scale. Here, we test four hypotheses on the factors affecting the network structure of terrestrial vertebrate scavenger assemblages and its implications on ecosystem functioning....
Article
Research on the ecology of fear has highlighted the importance of perceived risk from predators and humans in shaping animal behavior and physiology, with potential demographic and ecosystem-wide consequences. Despite recent conceptual advances and potential management implications of the ecology of fear, theory and conservation practices have rare...
Article
Full-text available
Camera trap technology has galvanized the study of predator‐prey ecology in wild animal communities by expanding the scale and diversity of predator‐prey interactions that can be analyzed. While observational data from systematic camera arrays have informed inferences on the spatiotemporal outcomes of predator‐prey interactions, the capacity for ob...
Article
PDF of submitted version available for free at: http://publish.illinois.edu/maxallen/files/2019/06/Sebastian-Gonzalez-et-al.-MS.pdf Understanding the distribution of biodiversity across the Earth is one of the most challenging questions in biology. Much research has been directed at explaining the species latitudinal pattern showing that communi...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic dogs are the most abundant large carnivore on the planet, and their ubiquity has led to concern regarding the impacts of dogs as predators of and competitors with native wildlife. If native large carnivores perceive dogs as threatening, impacts could extend to the community level by altering interactions between large carnivores and their...
Article
Full-text available
The spatial relationship between predator and prey is often conceptualized as a behavioral response race, in which prey avoid predators while predators track prey. Limiting habitat types can create spatial anchors for prey or predators, influencing the likelihood that the predator or prey response will dominate. Joint spatial anchors emerge when pr...
Article
Full-text available
The landscape of fear is an important driver of prey space use. However, prey can navigate the landscape of fear by exploiting temporal refuges from predation risk. We hypothesized that diel patterns of predator and prey movement and space use would be inversely correlated due to temporal constraints on predator habitat domain. Specifically, we eva...
Article
Landscape connectivity for wildlife populations is declining globally due to increasing development and habitat fragmentation. However, outside of full protection of undeveloped wildlife corridors, conservation planners have limited tools to identify the appropriate level of densification such that landscape permeability for wildlife is maintained....
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic disturbances can constrain the realized niche space of wildlife by inducing avoidance behaviors and altering community dynamics. Human activity might contribute to reduced partitioning of niche space by carnivores that consume similar resources, both by promoting tolerant species while also altering behavior of species (e.g. activity...
Article
Full-text available
Human development strongly influences large carnivore survival and persistence globally. Behavior changes are often the first measureable responses to human disturbances, and can have ramifications on animal populations and ecological communities. We investigated how a large carnivore responds to anthropogenic disturbances by measuring activity, mo...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores’ fear of the human ‘super predator’ has the potential to alter their feeding behaviour and result in human-induced trophic cascades. However, it has yet to be experimentally tested if large carnivores perceive humans as predators and react strongly enough to have cascading effects on their prey. We conducted a predator playback exp...
Article
1.How animals respond to anthropogenic disturbances is a core component of conservation biology and how they respond to predators and competitors is equally of central importance to wildlife ecology. Camera traps have rapidly become a critical tool in wildlife research by providing a fully-automated means of observing animals without needing an obs...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how anthropogenic development affects food webs is essential to implementing sustainable growth measures, yet little is known about how the spatial configuration of residential development affects the foraging behavior and prey habits of top predators. We examined the influence of the spatial characteristics of residential development...
Article
Full-text available
Mate selection influences individual fitness, is often based on complex cues and behaviours , and can be difficult to study in solitary species including carnivores. We used motion-triggered cameras at 29 community scrapes (i.e. scent marking locations used by multiple individuals) and home range data from 39 GPS-collared pumas (Puma concolor) to a...
Article
Full-text available
Great leaps forward in scientific understanding are often spurred by innovations in technology. The explosion of miniature sensors that are driving the boom in consumer electronics, such as smart phones, gaming platforms, and wearable fitness devices, are now becoming available to ecologists for remotely monitoring the activities of wild animals. W...
Article
Full-text available
Caching decisions have been studied for many species, but large-scale variation of selective preferences due to environmental heterogeneity has rarely been examined. We investigated large-scale patterns of selective caching behavior in the American pika (Ochotona princeps), a non-hibernating generalist herbivore that caches vegetation in haypiles t...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The Santa Cruz Puma Project is a partnership between UC Santa Cruz and the California Department of Fish and Game. We began the work in 2008 with a number of complimentary goals enumerated below. Follow us through our blog (santacruzpumas.org)and we’ll keep you up to date with the latest developments from the field as well as important results as they are published. Objectives: 1 – We are a developing a state-of-the-art wildlife-tracking collar that simultaneously tracks the location and behavior of the animal wearing it. This is accomplished by a GPS unit that communicates with an array of satellites and downloads its position at a user defined interval, an accelerometer which measures movements of the collar in all three spatial directions 64 times a second, and a magnetometer, an electronic compass which measures the orientation of the collar with respect to the earths magnetic field. Powerful algorithms take in data from each device and report where the animal is and what it is doing. 2 – We are collecting data on wild mountain lions (Puma concolor) to better understand their physiology, behavior and ecology. In particular, we are interested in the ecological consequences of puma predation on ungulates, the physiological differences between males and females, the ways in which mountain lions communicate with each other, and the impacts of mountain lions on other carnivore species such as coyotes, raccoons and skunks. By using the new wildlife collars described above, we will be able to gain unprecedented new insights into each of these questions. 3 – Through our research efforts we are aiming to develop a better understanding of the impacts of habitat fragmentation (roads, housing developments etc.) on mountain lion behavior, reproduction and movement. We are particularly interested in understanding how mountain lion behavior changes as they get closer to human development, and in identifying the routes that mountain lions use to traverse the mountains. Data from our study will be used by local NGO’s to identify conservation priorities as well as Caltrans to inform the placement of wildlife crossing structures across major freeways.