Tara Gancos Crawford

Lab Member Fall 2010 – Spring 2013

Currently a PhD student at University of Georgia

Tara is interested in individual specialization and niche diversity within generalist populations.  If individuals differentially require or affect resources, they can experience dissimilar ecological interactions that influence population dynamics, community structure, and ecological functioning. She is specifically interested in elucidating the nature and degree of niche variation within pinniped populations and how this variation differs among populations in different ecological contexts.  Furthermore, she is interested in the management implications of intrapopulation niche variation - when the simplifying assumption of ecologically-equivalent conspecifics is appropriate and when more detailed consideration of a population’s ecology can improve management outcomes at a lesser cost to society.

Read more about her project Untangling Sea Lion Individuality.

She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2006 with a BS in Ecology. Afterwards, she joined the United States Peace Corps and served as the Programs Coordinator for a parish-based environmental NGO in St.Thomas, Jamaica. In Jamaica she became interested in holistic approaches to natural resource management that take into consideration the social context in which management is carried out. This interest led her to Brown University where she earned a MA degree in Environmental Studies. Her master’s thesis investigated how social, ecological, and institutional contexts influence what ecosystem-based management is in practice.