Emily Zepeda

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Title

PhD Candidate (Animal Behavior Graduate Group)

Prior Education

BS in Cell and Molecular Biology, San Francisco State University

Research Interests

Urbanization is expanding rapidly requiring more animals to contend with the challenges associated with urban environments. An important component of many responses to human-induced rapid environmental change is behavior and in these environments humans are strong drivers of most ecological processes including animal behavior. Humans can influence animal behavior directly through human-wildlife interactions or indirectly through the modification of their community or environment. 

I’m interested in identifying the ways human directly and indirectly shape urban coyote behavior, particularly nuisance or human-tolerance behavior. While most urban coyotes avoid humans spatially and/or temporally some coyotes develop an increased tolerance for humans which can lead to conflict. By identifying the ways in which humans contribute to human-tolerance behavior in coyotes, we can develop more effective management strategies promoting coexistence with these animals in urban environments.