Research in the Eggert lab uses molecular genetics, GIS, and intensive field studies to address questions about the ecology and evolution of species, particularly those that are difficult or dangerous to study using more traditional methods. Whenever possible, we use noninvasive methods of sample collection in order to reduce the impacts of our research on our study populations.
Many of the projects in our lab are designed to provide the essential biological data that is needed for conservation management. For instance, without information about habitat use, home ranges, and social structure in the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), it is difficult for managers to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas. New methods for laboratory and computer analyses have allowed us to address issues such as these that were previously considered intractable.
Although my PhD thesis work was done in Africa (and I have a continuing interest in doing research there), I will be pleased to advise both undergraduate and graduate students whose research interests can be addressed by studying a local species. I strongly encourage all students to consider this before dealing with the difficulties inherent in international research programs.