TWS introduces 2017 Fellows

By Dana Kobilinsky

Merav Ben-David receives a plaque for her TWS Fellows award from past president Bruce Thompson at the 2017 TWS Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ©TWS

Ten longtime TWS members became TWS Fellows at the 2017 annual TWS conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The TWS Fellows Award is given out each year to individuals who have “distinguished themselves through exceptional service” to the profession and have been members of the society for at least 10 years. Find out more about the background of these esteemed wildlifers below.

The deadline to nominate individuals for the 2018 group of TWS Fellows is February 1, 2018. Click here to review the criteria and to learn how to submit a nomination.

David Andersen

David Andersen is a unit leader at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. He’s also a professor at the University of Minnesota, teaching courses including Avian Conservation and Management. Andersen has a special interest in population ecology of wild birds as it relates to their management and conservation. He’s also interested in subjects such as the impacts of human activity on wildlife, applied population ecology and habitat/wildlife relationships, habitat relationships of forest-nesting birds and more. Andersen’s research program at the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit emphasizes the study of terrestrial vertebrates — especially birds — and their habitats. Some of the recent work in his program includes a northern goshawk study in the western Great Lakes Region and ecology of geese and other birds in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Andersen, who earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has held his position at the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit for 21 years.
 

Roger Applegate

At his current position as a wildlife population biologist and state furbearer, small game and wildlife health program leader with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Roger Applegate deals with issues ranging from restoring grassland and shrubland communities to searching for the rare spotted skunk. Applegate has either conducted or participated in research related to wildlife ecology for almost 40 years. He is also an adjunct assistant professor of wildlife management at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and teaches biology at a local community college. At the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he helps develop collaborative projects between the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the university. Applegate has been in his current role with the agency for 12 years.
 

Merav Ben-David

Merav Ben-David is a professor in the department of zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming. Ben-David’s interests include the interaction between animal behavioral ecology, population dynamics and ecosystem function. She mainly studies carnivores and the use of the transport of nutrients from sea to land as a model system. She has investigated trade-offs between nutritional requirements and risks of infanticide on consumption of salmon by female brown bears, and how females made decisions based on the transfer of salmon-derived nutrients to terrestrial vegetation. Ben-David earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Tel-Aviv University in Israel and her PhD in the Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
 

Warren Conway

Warren Conway earned his PhD at Texas Tech University in 2001 where he now works as an assistant and associate professor of wildlife management. He and his graduate students pursue a wide range of wildlife-related research topics, but they are all mostly focused on ecologically relevant and applied wildlife population, conservation and management issues. He is most interested in game and nongame species inhabiting Texas coastal marshes and prairies, inland playas and saline lakes of the Southern Great Plains, and some of his more recent work is in eastern New Mexico. His current research has expanded into pronghorn, elk, bighorn sheep and mule deer ecology, conservation and management in Texas and New Mexico. Conway teaches a variety of courses at the university, including waterfowl ecology and principles of wildlife management. He is also a past president of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and has served in other roles such as being a member of the Wildlife Department Migratory Gamebird Advisory Council.
 

Angela Fuller 

Angela Fuller is a research wildlife biologist and the leader of the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. She’s also an associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Fuller joined the Department of Natural Resources in 2009. She’s a mammalian wildlife ecologist, and she conducts applied research to inform conservation and management. She is primarily interested in the effects of forest fragmentation on mammals, species-habitat relationships and ecological thresholds. For example, Fuller is studying how traits of mammalian carnivores may make them especially susceptible to landscape change. She often uses non-invasive sampling methods for her projects so that she doesn’t have to directly capture the animals. Fuller teaches courses at the Cornell such as Decision Making for Natural Resources, Landscape Ecology, Habitat Ecology and Forest Landscape Planning. She earned her bachelor’s at the University of Maine at Machias in 1996, her master’s at the University of Maine in 1999 and her PhD at the same university in 2006.
 

Shane Mahoney

Shane Mahoney is the president and CEO of Conservation Visions Inc. He has over 30 years of experience working as a scientist, wildlife manager, policy innovator and strategic adviser. But he is also a filmmaker, writer, narrator, television and radio personality and lecturer. Mahoney holds both an honors and master’s of science degree in zoology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he resides. Mahoney founded Conservation Visions, Inc., with a mission to emphasize the interactions of humans and nature, focusing its efforts on promoting sustainable natural resource use. The organization is a global wildlife initiative and a private company focused on providing a broad scope of services to stakeholders in the international conservation community. The company creates scientific research solutions, offers policy advice and provides other services.
 

Kenneth Mayer

Kenneth Mayer is the founder and CEO of K.E. Mayer & Associates, a company specializing in wildlife management and environmental science. Before establishing his company, Mayer served seven years as the director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. served 25 years with the California Department of Fish and Game (now the California Department of Fish and Wildlife), where he held positions as the statewide deer management coordinator, coastal regions field supervisor and chief scientist in the Office of Spill Prevention and Response. Mayer also currently serves as a contract scientist with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, focusing on the management and conservation of greater sage-grouse. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Humboldt State University in Natural Resource Management.
 

Katherine Parker

For 22 years, Katherine Parker has been a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, teaching ecosystem science and management. Parker’s research interests include bioenergetics strategies of wildlife, plant-herbivore dynamics, and predator-prey interactions. She is specifically interested in the factors that constrain wildlife species and the flexibility the animals have in order to survive them. She is currently studying trade-off decisions related to body condition, reproduction and predation risk for ungulates in boreal and subarctic systems. 
 

Eric Pelren

Eric Pelren is a professor of wildlife biology at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Pelren was a member of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oregon State University chapters while he was pursuing his master’s and doctoral degrees respectively at these universities. Pelren served as the president of the Tennessee Chapter from 2000 to 2002 and as the president of the Southeastern Section of TWS from 2014 to 2015. Pelren’s interests include wildlife-habitat relationships, farm and forest wildlife management and upland gamebird ecology. 
 

Lisette Waits

Lisette Waits is the head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. She’s also the leader of the Fishery Resources and Wildlife Resources programs. She has been with the university for 20 years as faculty and has been the department head the past three years. Waits’ research includes conservation genetics and molecular ecology spanning the continents of North America, Asia, and Central and South America. Waits earned her bachelor’s in genetics at the University of Georgia in 1991 and her PhD in genetics at the University of Utah in 1996. Waits also earned the Arthur S. Einarsen award for outstanding professional service in 2015 from the Northwest Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
 

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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