University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Biology seminar scheduled for Feb. 17

Marissa Ahlering, prairie ecologist with the Nature Conservancy and adjunct assistant professor of Biology, will present a seminar titled "Finding a home in a haystack: Habitat use for grassland birds in the Northern Great Plains" beginning at noon Wednesday, Feb. 17, in 141 Starcher Hall.

Marissa Ahlering received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Missouri. Her research focused on habitat selection and habitat use questions for two species of grassland songbirds, the Baird's Sparrow and the Grasshopper Sparrow. She conducted this work in the northern Great Plains on sites ranging from central North Dakota up through south central Saskatchewan. After finishing her degree, she began a post-doctoral project with Lori Eggert at the University of Missouri studying the population dynamics of savanna elephants outside the boundaries of national parks. Her research used non-invasive molecular techniques to address questions about genetic relationships and stress hormones in these populations. She continued and completed this project as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Jesus Maldonado and Rob Fleischer at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. She is currently working for the Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota chapter of The Nature Conservancy as their Prairie Ecologist in the Conservation Science division. Her office is in the Biology Department at UND, where she is currently adjunct faculty. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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