Lab Members

Sarah Sells, PhD, Research Associate


My overarching career goal is to make meaningful contributions to science and conservation. My research interests include behavior, landscape ecology, population dynamics, modeling, disease, and decision analysis. I am particularly interested in collaborating with agencies to conduct research with direct application to conservation, and in connecting ecological theory with applied management. I first joined the MTCWRU to study proactive management of pneumonia epizootics in bighorn sheep for my MS. Through close collaboration with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, we produced tools to estimate disease risk and make decisions for how to proactively manage herds. In December 2019, I completed my PhD on carnivore territoriality and sociality. My research aimed to understand causal mechanisms of behavior and develop models to help estimate abundance of wolves through biologically based, spatially explicit predictions. This research has direct application to post-delisting management of wolves and can be used to predict behaviors of other carnivores to aid in their management and conservation. As a Post-Doctoral Research Associate, I am helping MFWP integrate this research with wolf management in Montana.

Learn More: Sarah's website, carnivore behavior, pneumonia in bighorn sheep, and decision analysis.

Colby Anton, PhD, Research Associate

More details soon

Brandon Kittson, MS Student

Wildlife biology and wildlife conservation have always been passions of mine. Growing up just outside of Glacier National Park and my Blackfeet cultural upbringing allowed me to develop a deep appreciation for the natural world. My research interests include road ecology, connectivity, and the reintroduction of extirpated species. Completing my Bachelors Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries at Salish Kootenai College in 2019 allowed me to work on a variety of interesting projects, including huckleberry phenology in Glacier National Park, Mexican Spotted Owls in New Mexico, ungulate crossing zones on Highway 89 on the Blackfeet Reservation, invasive plants in Costa Rica, and connectivity on U.S Highway 2. My current research is looking at Bison reintroduction and its effects on the landscape in terms of vegetation changes. 

Peter Mumford, MS Student


As a passionate traveler and wildlife professional, I have seen both the surreal beauty of the natural world and what can happen to it as anthropogenic pressures take their toll. My goal is to use wildlife research to help strike a pragmatic balance between people and wildlife, while minimizing negative impacts to ecosystem function. More specifically, my research interests include spatial ecology and resource use, population dynamics, and organismal responses to landscape scale changes. I have been privileged to work for an array of entities on projects ranging from studying the endangered Sierra Nevada red fox, to American beavers, to mountain goats. Moving forward, I’d like to continue working on projects that have a high degree of application to wildlife management and conservation. My Master’s research is in collaboration with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and focuses on the second phase of a project examining the spatial ecology of elk in the Sapphire mountains. This research will provide insight regarding the increasingly frequent, and potentially problematic, phenomenon occurring throughout the western United States of large game species spending more time on private lands.

Kenneth Edmo, MS Student

More details soon

Rick Astley, Honorary Lab Member

Rick Astley

My interests center on the role cohesion plays in the relationships of social animals. My current project has already made groundbreaking strides in quantifying the value and relative importance of a balanced life to interdependent individuals. In my free time I enjoy dancing, spending time outdoors, and being a stable role model.

Learn more: a balanced life.