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Sensory Ecology

How do carnivores process sensory information about their environment? Which senses do they use for navigation? Which cues are important in social recognition?


How do individuals share and receive information?

Social Behavior and Social Learning

What benefits do species derive from sociality and what determines group size? What are the functions of social learning? Under what conditions do animals learn from conspecifics?

About Me, Lilian Carswell

I am a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Terrie Williams, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz. I also work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Southern Sea Otter Recovery & Marine Conservation Coordinator (although the views expressed on this webpage are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). I am interested in the intersection between sensory biology, neuroscience, behavior, and conservation. Specifically, I am interested in how can we use information about how animals perceive their world to guide conservation interventions, such as re-establishing range connectivity with wildlife corridors or overpasses/underpasses; conducting reintroductions; or limiting human activities that may cause harm. Without understanding what matters perceptually and socially to individuals of the species we are trying to conserve, we may not fully appreciate how human activities are affecting them, and we may not understand how best to help them avoid human hazards.