Rob Nipko

I am broadly interested in understanding the systems of influences that drive the demography of threatened and endangered species, especially carnivores. My graduate research is focused on Jaguars (Panthera onca) in Belize. I use dark arts from the elder days statistical models to update the Jaguar Project’s estimates of Jaguar density, while also examining the influences of habitat, human activities, and interactions within the ecological community. I will also be invoking demons employing these techniques to examine jaguar survival, birth rates, and movement across the Belizean landscape, as well as drivers of all these vital rates.

When I’m not hunched at my desk etching arcane runes writing R code, I’m committed to recruiting a coven of minions to do my bidding mentoring budding wildlife biologists. Unlike the stereotypical frail necromancer (though I admit I’m pretty scrawny), I’m not afraid to get out in the field and work up a sweat. I worked with Darby as co-leaders of the Jaguar Project’s 2018 and 2019 summer field seasons to mentor dozens of volunteers, teaching them how to conduct research in a remote tropical setting, as well as how to deal with practical concerns like maintaining a field vehicle, dealing with heat stress, or what to do if you get a botfly (pop it like a pimple!). Back in the lab, I work with Brogan to guide the WHAPA Lab’s army of undergraduates through data entry and independent research projects.

Some say I never sleep, but surely that can’t be true?