Kate McGinn

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Office Location

TWITTER: @KateMcGinn14


I am interested in the scalar effects anthropogenic factors have on sensitive species and communities, in general how climate change, current management practices, and other human driven factors interact to influence the status of at-risk populations. Animal energetics offer an interesting thread to connect direct impacts of those factors on individual animal physiology, their movements and habitat use, and their ability to persist and produce viable young. I am also excited about the spatial ecology of animals, which provides opportunities to quantify scalar effects humans have on systems, from individual movement patterns between foraging patches to population distributions in an entire region.

My PhD research with Dr. Zach Peery and Dr. Ben Zuckerberg will take a critical look at the interface between climate change and forest management strategies. Part of our research will investigate the effect of rising temperatures on the metabolic rates and movement behaviors of breeding California spotted owls, where we will apply predictive models to show the status of climate refugia under different management scenarios. The second part of our research will use passive acoustic recordings and dynamic occupancy modeling to investigate effects of native invasive barred owls (and strategies to manage their encroachment) on forest owl communities and trophic interactions.

Currently, I am examining the effects of novel fire disturbance on the behavior and distribution of forest owls and identifying forest restoration strategies that maintain the unique nocturnal biodiversity that exists in western forests. 


B.A. Organismal Biology and Ecology | Colorado College, 2018

PhD Wildlife Ecology | University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2023