Quantitative Ecology Lab

Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

North Carolina State University


Assessing populations, including estimation of demographic rates, distribution patterns, abundance, and habitat relationships, is essential for conservation, management, and ecological understanding.  Major drivers such as climate change and land-use change will continue to alter the environment affecting wildlife populations in new and unexpected ways.  Our lab develops statistical models to assess populations and distributions for fish, wildlife, and other organisms.  Using hierarchical models to separate observation processes from the underlying state process of interest and a Bayesian framework for analyses allows us to directly address complex biological questions. 


What we do and why

Our lab develops innovative quantitative methods to study wildlife, plant, and fisheries populations  around the world.

News from the lab

-We are halfway through 2014, so here are a few highlights so far:

    -Gabriel joined the lab in April and will stay with us through March of next year.  Check out his profile on the Team page.

    -Holly joined the lab in February and has already been to a workshop at Patuxent, the marine bird cooperative meeting, and a project meeting in Maine.  Keeping busy!

    -Nick just defended his MS degree and will head on to Old Dominion University to start a PhD.  Nick received an unconditional pass and gave a great presentation of his work.

    -Mike has returned from another field season in the Keys and continues working on publications and analyses.

    -Earvin has completed his post doc and after receiving a number of interviews, accepted and has now started a faculty position at Loyola University. 

    -Rahel just presented a new distance sampling model at the 2014 ISEC meeting in Montpellier and has a slew of new papers coming out.


-Rahel also has published a new paper getting lots of press on orangutans - check it out!

The paper can be accessed freely here:


Pictures with credits and a video sequence of a ground walking orangutan can be downloaded here:


-Here’s the news from last year.....Our lab has had a successful 2013 - lots of publications (10 out this year and more in press - see the publication page), new grants, and much more....a few highlights for the year:

    -Bryan passed his defense and will graduate in December

    -Nick gave a great presentation at the TWS meeting, and won best poster at the NCTWS meeting.

    -Rahel gave many successful presentations this year and workshops - at the Euring meeting, in India, at TWS, etc.  

    -Mike completed his first year of field work in the keys.

    -Earvin gave a couple great presentations at the JSM meetings.

    -Holly is joining the lab in February...more details soon.

-New book on spatial capture recapture is out!  You can check it out at:


© David Shindle, Conservancy of Southwest Florida

The Quantitative Ecology Lab at NCSU is run by Beth Gardner in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program.  Please check out this site for information on the lab team and research projects, publications, and teaching.  

Welcome to Beth Gardner’s lab