Ellen Aikens

Ellen is currently working on her PhD through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming.  Her graduate research focuses on mule deer migration. Through her research, Ellen hopes to connect patterns of plant phenology to mule deer movement behavior, body condition, reproductive success and demography. Additionally, she will investigate how changing climatic conditions may affect migratory mule deer in the future. Before coming to Wyoming, Ellen worked at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s GIS lab, where she analyzed remote sensing and GPS telemetry data for conservation research projects across the globe. Ellen is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Berry Fellowship.  Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ursinus College.

Gallery

Publications

Aikens EO, Kauffman MJ, Merkle JA, Dwinnell SP, Fralick G. and Monteith KL (in Revision). The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore. Ecology Letters

Merkle JA, Monteith KL, Aikens EO, Hayes MM, Hershey KR, Middleton AD, Oates BA, Sawyer H, Scurlock BM, Kauffman MJ (2016). Large herbivores surf waves of green-up in spring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283:20160456

Jenks, K. E., E. O. Aikens*, N.  Songsasen, J. Calabrese, C. Fleming, N. Bhumpakphan, S. Wanghongsa, B. Kanchanasaka, M. Songer, and P. Leimgruber. in Press. Tools for comparative movement analysis: a case study of sympatric dholes and jackals in a human-dominated landscape. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Straub, C. S., N. P. Simasek, R. Dohm, M. R. Gapinski, E. O. Aikens, and C. Nagy. 2014. Plant diversity increases herbivore movement and vulnerability to predation. Basic and Applied Ecology 15(1): 50-58.

Straub, C. S., N. P. Simasek, M. R. Gapinski, R. Dohm, E. O. Aikens, and S. Muscella. 2013. Influence of nonhost plant diversity and natural enemies on the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae, and pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, in alfalfa. International Journal of Pest Management 86(2):235-244.

*both authors contributed equally to this publication

Selected Presentations

Aikens EO, Kauffman MJ, Merkle JA, Dwinnell SP, Chong G, Fralick GL, and Monteith KL. Quantifying greenscapes: spatiotemporal patterns of phenology shape green wave surfing in migratory mule deer. Wyoming Section, Society for Range Management and Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society Joint Annual Conference, Cody, WY, November 16th, 2016.

Aikens EO, Kauffman MJ, Merkle JA, Dwinnell SP, Chong G, Fralick GL, and Monteith KL. Quantifying greenscapes: spatiotemporal patterns of phenology shape green wave surfing in migratory mule deer. 23rd Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society, Raleigh, NC, October 19th, 2016.

Aikens EO, Kauffman MJ, Merkle JA, Dwinnell SP, Chong G, Fralick GL, and Monteith KL. Quantifying greenscapes: spatiotemporal patterns of phenology shape green wave surfing in migratory mule deer. 13th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Grand Teton National Park, WY, October 6th, 2016.

Aikens EO, Monteith KL, Merkle JA, Dwinnell SP, Kauffman MJ. Quantifying greenscapes: spatiotemporal patterns of phenology shape green wave surfing in migratory mule deer. Large Herbivore Migrations in the Era of the Anthropocene, Oslo, Norway, April 18th, 2016.

Aikens EO, Monteith KL, Merkle JA, Chong G, Hayes MM, Dwinnell SP and Kauffman MJ. Does drought affect the ability of migratory mule deer to surf the green wave? The Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society and The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative Joint Conference, Lander WY, 2015.

Aikens EO, Monteith KL, Merkle JA, Chong G, Hayes MM, Dwinnell SP and Kauffman MJ. Does drought affect the ability of migratory mule deer to surf the green wave?   22st Annual conference of The Wildlife Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2015.

Aikens EO, Monteith KL, Chong GW, Kauffman MJ. Evaluating the influence of drought on plant phenology and forage quality for migratory mule deer. USGS Regional Directors Visit, Pinedale WY, August 20th, 2015 (Oral Presentation).

Aikens EO, Monteith KL, Chong GW, Kauffman MJ. Evaluating the influence of drought on plant phenology and forage quality for migratory mule deer. Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative Steering Committee Meeting, Big Piney WY, August 7th, 2015 (Oral Presentation).

Aikens EO, Phenology tracking by migratory mule deer. Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Annual Cooperators Meeting, Cheyenne WY, April 20th, 2015 (Oral Presentation).

Aikens  EO, Leimgruber P, Songasen N, Bhumpakphan N, Wanghonsa S, Calabrese J, Fleming C, Songer M, Kanchanasaka  B, Jenks KE. People and wild canids: lessons learned from comparative studies of dhole and jackal movements. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Baltimore MD, July 26-27th 2013 (Speed Presentation and Poster Session).

Aikens EO, Jenks KE, Songasen N, Leimgruber P. Movement behaviors of three canid species in Thailand. [email protected] Conference, Washington DC, January 16th 2013 (Oral Presentation).

Scholarships & Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation, 2013 – Present

Berry Fellowship, University of Wyoming, 2013

Kemper Scholarship, Kemper Foundation, 2008 -2011

Projects