Dr. Robert Dawley's Research Lab

Habitat fragmentation, caused by human activities, impacts animal populations by reducing habitat size and impeding movement between habitats. Ursinus College, located in an area undergoing rapid transition from a rural to a suburban environment, provides an ideal setting to study such impacts on one of the most abundant native species, the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus (the notorious purveyor of Lyme Disease). In collaboration with Ellen Dawley, our students and I have been pursuing these projects: [1] Using live-traps to measure mouse population levels in a nearby forest divided by a gas pipeline right-of-way (ROW), in part to access the extent to which the ROW represent a barrier to mouse movement and dispersal. [2] Using live-traps and “camera traps” (motion-detection triggered cameras) to assess the diversity of mammalian species in several local forests of varying sizes.