Dr. Carolyn Nersesian
Dr. Nersesian has an undergraduate degree in environmental science and an Honours (cf. Masters) research degree in Environmental Policy and Law from Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. In 2010 she earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. There she investigated the influence of plant toxins on predation risk, nutritional ecology, and the spatial scale heterogeneity of food resources to determine how these factors influenced foraging behaviors of a generalist mammalian herbivore. Dr. Nersesian also completed a post-doc in the laboratory of Daniel Fortin at the Université Laval, Québec, Canada. The principal focus of her project was to quantify the factors that influence fine-scale predator and prey movement in heterogeneous environments on patterns of animal spatial organization at multiple scales. She has also had the opportunity in her academic career to teach a diverse array of interdisciplinary courses such as general biology, zoology, ecology, and biostatistics.
Dr. Nersesian is interested in promoting undergraduate research focused how herbivores balance different, but proximate costs, such as predation risk, plant defense mechanisms, and nutritional requirements, in diverse foraging environments, by examining behavioral responses in natural and laboratory settings. Her approach is multidisciplinary and incorporates fieldwork observation and experimentation with ecological theory and statistical and mathematical models.