GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

Graduate students serve as the “lifeblood” of the research program at the Borderlands Research Institute. With their faculty mentor, graduate students collect and analyze data to help answer research questions posed by natural resource managers and land stewards.

Educational opportunities not only come in the more traditional settings of classrooms and lecture halls, but some of the most effective settings for teaching occur behind a windshield, under a shade tree, or on the side of a mountain. The dialogues and discussions that emerge in these outdoor learning environments will long be remembered by our students.

The Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands offer some of the most scenic outdoor classrooms available worldwide. From monitoring hummingbird nests and migration routes to assessing rangeland health, our students receive a wealth of opportunities working first hand with the natural resources.

M.S. thesis

Project: Seed-bank and invertebrate potential of arid southwestern wetland impoundments

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy

M.S. thesis

Project: Overwinter habitat use of Baird’s and grasshopper’s sparrows in the Marfa Grasslands, Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Mieke Titulaer

M.S. thesis

Project: Assessing prevalence of eyeworm infestations in scaled quail throughout the Trans-Pecos region of Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Quantify selection of specific habitat types for trans-located wild turkeys in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas.

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Desert mule deer translocation and restoration efforts in the Trans-Pecos

Advisor:
Dr. Louis A. Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Investigating primary forages, diet shifts associated with supplemental feed and vegetation associations with eyeworm infestations in scaled quail

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Estimating mountain lion density using spatial capture-recapture techniques

Advisor:
Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Evaluation of soil erosion and changes in plant communities resulting from rooting behavior of invasive wild pigs in the Edwards Plateau ecoregion of Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Movements, survival, and habitat use of desert bighorn sheep in the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Louis A. Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Evaluating sympatric relationships between desert bighorn sheep and aoudad

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy

M.S. thesis

Project: Assess the effects of management prescriptions on knotgrass and its energetic
production value for migratory birds

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Ph.D

Project: Spatial, temporal, and demographic characteristics of desert bighorn sheep in west Texas

Advisors:
Dr. Louis Harveson and Dr. Roel Lopez (Texas A&M University)

M.S. thesis

Project: Modeling occupancy and potential distribution of kit fox in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Mule deer utilization of urban environments during the rut

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Comparative ecology of Gambel’s and scaled quail

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Influence of agriculture on mule deer in the Texas Panhandle

Advisor:
Dr. Louis Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: A carrying capacity estimate and grazing regime analysis based on pronghorn preferred forage in The Trans-Pecos, Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Louis A. Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Developing a soil water balance and reseeding techniques of native grasses in a grassland restoration area after being chemically treated with Tebuthiuron in the Chihuahuan Desert

Advisor:
Dr. Bonnie Warnock

M.S. thesis

Project: Estimating mammalian predator and prey population densities in the Davis Mountains, Texas, using spatial capture-recapture techniques

Advisor:
Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Ecology of Montezuma quail in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico

Advisor:
Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Habitat relationships of grassland birds in the Chihuahuan Desert

Advisor:
Dr. Louis Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Movement and habitat use of translocated pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos, Texas

Advisor:
Dr. Louis A. Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Using quail and grassland birds as indicators of Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem health

Advisors:
Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy and Dr. Ryan Luna

M.S. thesis

Project: Influence of prairie dog colonies on vegetation and cattle movement in the Marathon Basin

Advisors:
Dr. Whitney Gann and Dr. Louis Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Ecosystem services provided by mountain lion predation in the Davis Mountains

Advisor:
Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Black-tailed prairie dog restoration via translocation in the Trans-Pecos ecoregion

Advisor:
Dr. Bonnie Warnock

M.S. thesis

Project: Post-release survival and movements of captive-reared white-tailed deer following liberation

Advisor:
Dr. Louis A. Harveson

M.S. thesis

Project: Using quail and grassland birds as indicators of Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem health

Advisors:
Dr. Ryan Luna and Dr. Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Interested in joining our team? Visit the Sul Ross graduate admissions page for information on applying to our graduate program.