Episodes 4 and 5 of our FieldSound Podcast features two leading UW College of the Environment experts studying ecosystem dynamics.

Aaron Wirsing Ecologist Aaron Wirsing discusses his research in both terrestrial and aquatic systems, the ways that top predators, such as grey wolves and tiger sharks, shape their ecosystems and how humans affect predator-prey interactions through processes such as urbanization and climate change.

Wirsing is a professor with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences studying predator-prey interactions. He is also Principal Investigator of the Predator Ecology Lab, which seeks to better understand how predators influence their surroundings by interacting with their prey, and endeavors to find solutions to the challenges of large carnivore conservation and management in the changing world.

Listen to Episode 5, “Predator Ecology”

Laura PrughLaura Prugh, an associate professor of Quantitative Wildlife Sciences with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, shares about her pursuit to understand connections in the environment. On this episode of FieldSound, Prugh’s work with the critically endangered Kangaroo Rats is highlighted. Known as the “ecosystem engineers” of the Carrizo Plain National Monument in Southern California, Kangaroo Rats play a crucial, complex role in their environment.

Research in the Prugh Lab use a combination of intensive fieldwork, modeling, meta-analyses, and interdisciplinary approaches to study the response of wildlife communities to global change.

Listen to Episode 4, “Ecosystem Engineers”

Be sure to also read about a new study by researchers at the University of Washington — including Prugh and Wirsing, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Spokane Tribe of Indians illustrating how humankind’s growing footprint is impacting and changing interactions among species.