WEC Welcomes New Faculty Member Dr. Samantha Wisely
A hardy welcome goes to our newest faculty member of the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, Dr. Samantha Wisely. Sam was an Associate Professor at Kansas State University, and has recently joined our department this past December. Sam will be providing a key role in WEC, with research responsibilities focused on broad-scale scientific questions in line with the "grand challenges" driving the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and extension responsibilities focused on developing innovative extension programming at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Sam brings an exciting suite of skills and attributes to the Department. Her work in wildlife disease ecology moves the Department into an area that addresses critical wildlife needs in the region. In addition, her interests and background in landscape-level processes, population and community dynamics, and mammalian ecology builds important depth in fundamental elements of the wildlife program.
Samantha (Sam) Wisely received a BA from University of California, San Diego in Ecology and Evolution, an MS in Wildlife Ecology at Humboldt State University and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. She conducted post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park. Her dissertation and post-doctoral research assessed the conservation genetics of the endangered black-footed ferret, and she has published extensively on the implications of captive breeding and reintroduction in this and other threatened and endangered species. Sam's interest in carnivore ecology led her to study the biogeography of small and medium sized carnivores including striped skunks, red fox and fisher. Sam's interest in biogeography extends to the biogeography and ecology of wildlife diseases, as well. She has worked on the disease ecology of the rabies virus in skunks and raccoons, avian malaria in grouse and shorebirds, and chronic wasting disease in mule and white-tailed deer. She has provided expert opinion and analysis for such groups as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and numerous State Wildlife agencies.