Born and raised in Wyoming as the son of a wildlife filmmaker, I developed a keen interest in wildlife and vast, western ecosystems. This interest has transformed over the years through biological research with a number of species: various raptors, prairie dogs, grizzly bears, and pronghorn to name a few. I earned my BS in Zoology from the University of Wyoming in 2014 and was named the outstanding graduating male senior of my class. I immediately started working at Western Ecosystems Technology (WEST), Inc. in Laramie under Hall Sawyer, PhD, where I primarily study impact analysis and migration ecology. As a graduate student, my specific research interest is how landscape and anthropogenic factors affect behavior and movement of wild ungulates. The aim of my current research project is to compare the migratory behaviors of male and female mule deer in south-central Wyoming. From this project, I hope to glean whether males and females segregate by sex as a foraging strategy during spring migration. Ultimately this will depend on whether individuals differ in their ability to surf waves of spring green-up, use different stopover sites, and offset the timing of migration. With threats to ungulate populations rising across the globe, my research efforts seek to contribute to a broader understanding of behavioral responses to human-related disturbance in ungulates, as well as scientific literature on sexual segregation.
Professional Preparation and Appointments
2014 – present Wildlife Research Technician. Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST)
2016 – present Graduate Student Research Assistant. Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WY COOP)
2016 – present Graduate Research Assistant. Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI)
Rodgers, P.A., T.W. Mong, M.J. Kauffman, and H. Sawyer. 2016. Mule Deer Migratory Behavior: A Comparison of the Sexes. Poster presentation to the Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Annual Meeting, Cody, WY.
Rodgers, P.A., T.W. Mong, M.J. Kauffman, and H. Sawyer. 2017. Mule Deer Migratory Behavior: A Comparison of the Sexes. Oral presentation to the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Annual Meeting, Laramie, WY. Video of presentation.
Scholarships & Fellowships
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. WMI article on award
2014 Tobin Memorial Award: Outstanding Graduating Male Senior at the University of Wyoming
Fredrick E. Clements Scholarship in Ecology