Mariana & Jonah
Jonah and Mariana became friends while undegraduates at Unity College in Maine. At Unity, they worked on a black bear study together and developed a great personal and professional dynamic. Both graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Wildlife Biology in May 2015 and have moved on to their own projects. Now they are teaming up again to discuss their favorite thing: wildlife. Each brings a different perspective to wildlife research, issues, and solutions, which makes them a deadly duo!
Jonah's research background is primarily with large mammals, including black bears, bighorn sheep, lions, cheetahs, and African hunting dogs. However, he has worked on several bird projects, too, including with Southern Ground-hornbills in South Africa and Greater Sage-grouse in North Dakota. Recently, Jonah's interests have shifted from large mammals to birds... for the time-being. In August 2018 begins graduate school at Texas State University San Marcos in pursuit of a Master's of Science. His thesis project will focus on the population and spatial ecology of the Saddlebill, a species of African stork that has never been studied before. Data collection will take place in western Zambia, which is where Jonah lived when he hatched the project idea. As he begins his graduate school journey, Jonah hopes to share his views on wildlife research and conservation, what shaped them, and how you can make a difference as a steward of our planet.
Mariana Rivera Rodriguez
Mariana started working with rodents and small mammals during her time in undergraduate school in Maine, and hasn't looked back since. Presently, she's coming off of three summers of learning under renowned prairie dog expert John Hoogland, and hopes to bring some recent research ideas to a graduate program in the coming year or two. Mariana's main interest is in rodent behavior, and she believes strongly that understanding behavioral nuances at the individual level will improve our population-level management decisions going foward. As for her conservation sensibilities, she is driven by a principal of reconciliation between wildlife needs and human needs, with the belief that science and culture need not be mutually exclusive. Mariana hopes to bring these tenets to the conversation as we discuss wildlife issues throughout the podcast.