Emily Mensch is a PhD student in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, co-advised by Dr. Daniel Karp and Dr. Andrew Rypel. She received a BS in Biology from Colorado State University in 2016 and an MS in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University in 2022 where she studied chemical ecology of sea lamprey, with implications for invasive species management and native species conservation.
Building off her past research, Emily is broadly interested in studying creative solutions to large ecological problems. At Davis, she is using cooperative ecological methods to investigate interactions between waterbirds and fish in flooded rice field systems within California’s agricultural basin. Specifically, she is experimentally excluding waterbirds from plots with and without introduced fish to quantify predation, competition, and/or facilitation between waterbirds and introduced fish. Her research will aid in understanding the ecosystem services of flooded systems in the face of climate change. She hopes to use ecological theory and community engagement to dually inform wildlife managers and farmers on best ways to use limited water resources for support of agricultural yields and biodiversity.