I am an ecologist focused on research that harnesses new approaches for understanding and managing changing environments at multiple scales, with an emphasis on conservation and management applications. I believe that this work is best done in partnership with the communities affected by environmental management issues. Because of the value that I place on collaborative work, my research is often entwined with the citizen science movement as well as collaboration with management agencies, nonprofits, and community groups.
I am currently a PhD candidate in the Finstad Lab at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where I am part of the Department of Natural History and the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics. My doctoral research focuses on empirical testing of novel methods for analyzing opportunistic citizen science biodiversity data. I am part of the interdisciplinary Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity working group, based at NTNU. As a group, our goals are to develop models and other methods that improve the analysis of citizen science biodiversity data, and to produce maps and online visualizations that make it easier for researchers to communicate scientific results with citizen scientists.
Before my doctoral research, I completed my MS in the Walters Lab at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and spent two years as Citizen Science Outreach Coordinator for NH Sea Grant and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Outside of my work in ecology, I can often be found exploring the outdoors, most often through trail running. A Wisconsinite at heart, I am always happy to find myself on or near a lake. Other hobbies include cooking and, lately, learning Norwegian.
ANALYSIS METHODS FOR OPPORTUNISTIC CITIZEN SCIENCE BIODIVERSITY DATA
The main focus of my PhD research, begun in December 2018, is investigating novel analysis methods for opportunistic citizen science species occurrence data. Citizen science has become a very common source of data for biodiversity research, due in large part to technological advances that make it possible for volunteers to easily contribute observations about the natural world to large databases, such as iNaturalist or Norway's Artsobservasjoner. These massive, and growing, databases of user-contributed data have enormous potential to inform ecological research. But opportunistic data collection creates challenges for analysis. Among other issues, opportunistic observations are characterized by hard-to-quantify spatial and temporal biases, a high proportion of false negatives, biases towards particular species, and unknown detection probability.
I am working within the Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity working group to develop novel analysis approaches for opportunistic citizen science data. My doctoral research will focus on empirical testing of novel species distribution modeling approaches. I will begin considering these questions from the perspective of freshwater fish species in Norway, with a particular interest in how land use and climate change may impact the distribution and interactions of common fish species. There is a lot of potential to expand to consider testing our approaches in additional contexts, using data from Norway and elsewhere.
FISHERIES CITIZEN SCIENCE IN NORWEGIAN NATURAL AREAS
The Finstad Lab is building collaborations with regional fisheries management agencies in Norway to implement citizen science catch reporting for several popular fishing lakes. This new citizen science project should serve several goals: first, it will serve as a test laboratory for some of the data analysis ideas I am exploring in my primary PhD research. Second, it should provide valuable data to regional fisheries managers. And finally, these lake systems are ecologically exciting in many ways; several lakes in Trondheim's surrounding Bymarka area were treated with rotenone in 2016 to eradicate the destructive invasive species roach, and citizen science surveys can play an important role in investigating the ongoing changes in these lakes as the species assemblage shifts over time since that major change. Additionally, we have just passed 100 years since the comprehensive 1918 survey of fish species distribution throughout Norway; we hope to use citizen science surveys to replicate some of the 1918 survey and assess some of the changes that have occurred over the last 100 years.
COASTAL CITIZEN SCIENCE
From January 2017 through fall 2018, I held the position of Citizen Science Outreach Coordinator with the NH Sea Grant Coastal Research Volunteers. In this position I contributed to ten distinct coastal research collaborations. In addition to extensive community outreach, science communication, and collaboration building, my role in these research projects primarily consisted of assisting with the development of data collection protocols that would facilitate citizen science participation in the research and implementing these protocols through training and supervision of volunteer data collectors. In the course of this work I expanded my fieldwork experience to a wide range of taxa and protocols; fieldwork ranged from surveys of coastal species like American eels and horseshoe crabs to vegetation transects to coastal geology and beach dynamics.
Related poster presentation: C.P. Mandeville and A. Eberhardt. 2018. Citizen science to achieve both research and engagement objectives: examples from the Coastal Research Volunteer Program.
THERMAL ECOLOGY OF WYOMING STREAM FISHES
For my MS research, I worked with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to characterize shifts in species assemblages along the thermal gradient in Wyoming streams. I proposed a novel framework to integrate field-based data and laboratory-derived thermal tolerance values to classify species into thermal guilds that may be useful for stream thermal regulation. For the field-based portion of the study, I used statewide species distribution data and modeled stream temperature data to identify temperature thresholds where large shifts in species assemblage occurred over a small change in temperature. For the laboratory-based portion of the study, I worked with regional regulatory agencies to conduct a systematic literature review of species specific thermal stress test results, which we standardized into comparable thermal tolerance values.
Working with my MS advisors Drs. Annika Walters and Frank Rahel, we have since expanded upon these results to assess fish species vulnerability to projected climate change-induced increases in stream temperature. The results indicate that intermediate coldwater species, including brown trout, rainbow trout, and burbot, may be the most vulnerable to increases in water temperature, due to a combination of their relatively low thermal tolerance and their frequent occupancy of streams with temperatures relatively near their upper thermal limits.
C.P. Mandeville, F.J. Rahel, and A.W. Walters. 2019. Integrating fish assemblage data, modeled stream temperatures, and thermal tolerance metrics to develop thermal guilds for water temperature regulation. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. https://doi.org/10.1002/tafs.10169
A.W. Walters, C.P. Mandeville, and F.J. Rahel. 2018. The interaction of exposure and sensitivity determines fish species vulnerability to warming stream temperatures. Biology Letters 14(9):20180342. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0342
Please contact me if you would like me to send you a PDF of any of my papers.
I teach in several courses at NTNU, including Community Ecology and Ecosystems, Biogeography and Biosystematics, and Global Change Biology.
During my MS, I served for one semester as a teaching assistant for General Biology at the University of Wyoming.
I am always excited about the opportunity to work with undergraduate students. I especially enjoy leading active, inquiry-based learning opportunities, providing students opportunities to engage in authentic, hands-on research.
Past students and employees I have mentored include:
2018 Robert Lafreniere, NH Sea Grant Doyle Fellowship. Research title: Monitoring the
success of restored New England sand dunes: results from Harborside Dunes,
Seabrook, NH (click for poster).
Kristina Gjergjag, UNH Cooperative Extension Coastal Resilience Internship.
2017 Mary Kate Alger, Next Charter School Capstone Internship. Read some of Mary
Kate's writing from her internship here, here, and here.
Trevor Burns, New Hampshire Sea Grant Doyle Fellowship.
2015 Eloise Zimbelman, field technician, University of Wyoming. Eloise is currently
a graduate student at the University of Idaho.
If you are an undergraduate or masters student interested in working with me, please do not hesitate to contact me!
OUTREACH, INFORMAL EDUCATION & SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
I have a strong background in outreach and communication, with professional experience including two years as Citizen Science Outreach Coordinator for NH Sea Grant, service on the staff team of Nature Groupie, and two semesters as a residential ecology educator at The Ecology School. It is a priority for me to make science accessible and exciting to the public, particularly when it is of conservation importance. I am well-versed in developing creative, audience-specific communication products and outreach events. I am comfortable with both "shallow" engagement—event tables, brochures, blog posts, and the like—and "deep" engagement, which entails a long-term, two-way dialogue between researchers, the community, and other stakeholders.
At left, you can view some samples of outreach and communications products that I have made over the last few years.
You can view some of my guest blog posts and other writings online with the links below:
A secret ecosystem under the snow: the winter world of the subnivium
ESA2019: Inclusion, biodiversity data, and Twitter
Supermarket science: how consumer choices could affect ocean biodiversity
Life under lake ice: a mysterious (and threatened) world
Citizen science and biodiversity: thoughts from a meeting with the European Citizen
An Un-Common Garden
I am always interested in new science outreach and communication opportunities. If you would like to contact me, please don't hesitate to get in touch.