Our Vision

We envision a balance between human needs and carnivore conservation worldwide.

To attain this vision, we create knowledge about human-carnivore coexistence through interdisciplinary research around the world.

We promote the best available science to understand nature.

We respect the public trust by accounting transparently about the preservation, use, and regulation of environmental assets.

We uphold the U.S. Constitution that protects the people’s rights and established the judiciary to protect current and future generations.


Adrian standing in the woods” style= Adrian Treves

Professor and Founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab 2007

Adrian Treves earned his PhD at Harvard University in 1997 and is now a professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research focuses on agroecosystems where crop and livestock production overlap carnivore habitat. He and his students work to understand and manage the balance between human needs and carnivore conservation. With his students, he investigates conservation and ecology of large carnivores, as well as the attitudes and behaviors of the people who live alongside those carnivores.

Mailing Address:
30A Science Hall
550 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 890-1450

Advice to prospective or beginning students on research topics

Graduate Students

Omar Omar Ohrens, Ph.D. candidate

Omar is an agronomist from Chile, who has studied various wildlife in human-dominated landscapes for the last 10 years. His research will be focused on human-carnivore conflict and conservation, specifically of pumas, in the region of Tarapacá and Araucanía in Chile. He will lead a project to develop verification procedures for livestock loss, mitigate the conflict between pumas and people related to livestock predation, and map risk of puma predation on livestock. Omar won the Becas Chile-CONICYT Scholarship from the Chilean government and his research is funded by the USFWS Wildlife without borders conservation program and a National Geographic Society Explorer Grant. Omar completed his masters of science at CCL in December 2013.

2015. Ohrens, O., Treves, A., Bonacic, C. Relationship between rural depopulation and puma-human conflict in the high Andes of Chile. Environmental Conservation doi:10.1017/S0376892915000259.

“Drew” Drew Bantlin, M.S. (Ph.D. candidate)

Drew earned his M.S. in 2017 in Environment and Resources from UW-Madison. Drew’s research focuses on the effect of African lion reintroduction to Akagera National Park, Rwanda. He is exploring the trophic cascade hypothesis, that top carnivores have top-down influence on other species in an ecosystem. He is examining how lions may influence the behavior of other species in the park, which may in turn have effects on plant communities and ecosystem processes. Much of his field work involves direct observations of the lions and their prey, camera trapping, and analysis of GPS collared animals. In addition to research, Drew also assists Akagera with other research projects, including assisting with monitoring the newly reintroduced black rhinos, conducting population surveys on the ground and in the air, and collecting data on the demographics of elephants, giraffes, hyenas, and leopards. Prior to coming to Akagera, Drew has had field experience working with gray wolves, mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and numerous monkey species.

“Francisco” Francisco Santiago-Avila, MPP, MEM (Ph.D. candidate)

Fran holds Masters degrees in environmental public policy as well as environmental management from Duke University. His recent research has focused on valuation of non-wood forest wealth, the prioritization of ecosystems for conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and measuring the impact of protected areas on land cover change. As part of CCL, Fran's research has revolved around the integration and application of environmental and animal ethics to coexistence with wildlife, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of lethal and non-lethal methods to prevent conflicts with large carnivores (the gray wolf, in particular). His main objective is to reform wildlife management by embedding in it the much needed acknowledgement of moral standing for individual nonhuman animals. Fran's other research interests include: human behavior and attitudes towards animals, conflict-mitigating interventions and legal mechanisms for conservation. His other interests include carnivore behavioral ecology and trophic cascades

Santiago-Avila, F.J., Cornman, A.M., Treves, A. 2018. Killing wolves to prevent predation on livestock may protect one farm but harm neighbors. PLOS One. WILL BE POSTED 1 PM CENTRAL TIME ON WEDNESDAY JANUARY 9TH.

“Karann” Karann Putrevu, Ph.D. candidate

Karann is a computational biologist originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. He completed his Bachelor of Science with a dual degree in biological engineering and biology at Cornell University. He has a particularly strong passion for tigers and has studied topics ranging from modeling their interspecific conflicts (with leopards in India and wolves in Russia) to the Panthera genus’ genetic lineage to the social and political context of the South China tiger’s extinction in the wild. Karann is currently interested in applying Bayesian and machine learning methods to model the population dynamics of large carnivores as well as in studying spatial and temporal risk of livestock predation and poaching.

“Naomi” Naomi Louchouarn, MESM (Ph.D. candidate)

Naomi graduated from McGill University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Biology and dual minors in wildlife biology and applied ecology. During and after her Bachelor’s degree Naomi worked on various on research projects in Northern Canada, South Africa and Australia. These experiences provided her with the inspiration to pursue research focused on conservation planning and mitigating conflicts between humans and wildlife. Naomi received a Master’s of Environmental Science and Management at UC, Santa Barbara’s Bren School in 2017. Her Master’s research focused on prioritizing land for conservation in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin to maximize the protection of caribou habitat and minimize economic loses to resource extraction industries in the region. With the CCL, Naomi will lead a project focused on identifying non-economic motivations for poaching of large carnivores (such as grizzly bears) in the North American West. The objective of this project will be to model when and where large carnivore poaching is likely to occur.


no photo found Jacob Olson (B.S. candidate) Lab manager

Jacob is going for a dual bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and environmental studies, expecting to graduate in 2019. Jacob has been involved in the Rwanda project since fall 2016 to investigate how the reintroduction of lions, an apex carnivore, affected the behavior of hyenas, the mesocarnivore. After he graduates, he aims to go to graduate school and one day do research as a career.

no photo found Cristián Bonacić, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Cristian is a Professor of Wildlife Management at The Department of Ecosystems & The Environment at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Professor Bonacic leads one of the largest wildlife management research laboratories in Chile, Fauna Australis. Fauna Australis investigates different taxa from amphibians to wild mammals. Also Fauna Australis' main aim is to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development by working on conflict resolution between people and wildlife. Cristian is a 2015 visiting professor in The Nelson Institute sponsored by The Tinker Foundation, LACIS, and CCL.

no photo found Arlyne Johnson, Ph.D.

Arlyne is an Honorary Fellow with the Nelson Institute and works with Foundations of Success providing training for conservation organizations in the U.S. and abroad in designing and monitoring the effectiveness of conservation projects. She has led wildlife research and conservation programs in Latin American and Asia for the Wildlife Conservation Society since 1988, including projects to reduce conflict between local communities and large carnivores (tiger, dhole) and Asian elephant in Lao PDR. Arlyne currently teaches a graduate-level course in Conservation Planning for the Nelson Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from the Nelson Institute. You can see some of Arlyne's recent carnivore publications here.

Mark Rabenhorst

Mark is working on spatial analyses of wolf-human interactions in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Jaimie in Bridger Jamie Hogberg, M.S.

Jamie received her MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at UW-Madison, where she studied human-wolf conflict in Wisconsin and attitudes toward wolves and management following the inaugural public hunting and trapping season. She has worked as a field biologist for conservation organizations in the western U.S., tropical conservation in South America, and she currently coordinates the Environmental Conservation MS Program at the Nelson Institute. Jamie is also the founding board member of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology. Her interests include human dimensions of wildlife conservation, private lands conservation, avian ecology, and community-based conservation planning.

Nathan Schulfer, M.S.

Nathan began work for the Environmental Conservation Professional Masters program at the Nelson Institute after graduating in 2014 with a Masters degree on food security and ecosystem services, co-advised by Dr. A. Treves and Dr. J. Silbernagel.

Caitlin standing on rocks in front a lake Caitlin Williamson, Masters in Environmental Conservation

Cait is an environmental and sustainability professional, and is interested in wildlife conservation and management. Her experience has included wolf monitoring activities with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as well as a research emphasis on tribal wildlife policy and public perception towards carnivores. She's interested in the cultural and political perspectives of carnivore management, specifically the utilization of treaty rights and state and federal law as tools for human-wolf coexistence.

Browne-Nunez Christine Browne-Nuñez, Ph.D.

Christine received her Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida, where she completed her dissertation on predictors of attitudes and behaviors toward elephants around Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Her interests span the broad field of Human Dimensions and include the application of social science theory and research methods to understanding human thought and action as they relate to natural resource issues, understanding and managing human-wildlife conflict, and environmental education and communication. Christine is currently a post-doctoral research associate studying the influence of wolf management policy on social tolerance of wolves in Wisconsin.

Alina Szabo sitting in a field Alina Szabo, Ph.D. candidate (affiliated to CCL)

Alina employs an interdisciplinary approach to study conflict and coexistence between people and large carnivores in the Romanian Carpathians, a region they have shared uninterruptedly for millennia even at high densities. Working in the Rodna Mountains National Park she is identifying key factors that favor livestock depredation and aims to develop a risk map to help predict attacks and target preventive intervention. This data is complemented by an investigation of stakeholder values and attitudes towards bears, wolves and lynx and their management to understand their willingness to share the landscape with large carnivores and the conditions that could promote that. Furthermore, Alina is analyzing interactions between institutions and policies operating in the area and to what extent principles of good governance are being upheld. With her research Alina hopes to shed light on key ecological and socio-political factors that reduce conflict and foster the coexistence of humans and large carnivores in this context and to draw lessons that could be applied elsewhere.


Alexandra Pineda Guerrero, M.S.

Alexandra is a biologist from Colombia and masters student of Environmental Conservation here. She has worked as a researcher at ProCAT Colombia NGO (Proyecto de Conservación de Aguas y Tierras) for the last four years. Her work has been related to the ecology of carnivores, conservation planning for tropical mammals and ecosystems, and carnivore-human conflicts, specifically related to jaguar and pumas. Alexandra is interested in studying attitudes toward the wild cats, conflict mitigation and interventions within rural communities in South America and world-wide.

Current Undergraduate Affiliates

Rachel Conway, class of 2017

Jacob Olson, class of 2019

Megan Kruse, class of 2019

Maddie Bohrnstedt, class of 2020

and more on their way.... for a complete list, email here.


Alexandra Pineda Guerrero, Professional Masters in Environmental Conservation 2016

Omar Ohrens, M.S. 2013

Jamie Hogberg, M.S. 2014

Zachary Voyles, M.S. 2013

Brittany Bovard, M.S. 2013

Nathan Schulfer, M.S. 2012

Taylor Jones, M.S. 2010

Victoria Shelley, M.S. 2010

Becky Zug, M.S. 2009

Marie Vicksta, M.S. 2010

Camilla Fox, M.S. 2007

Kirsten Kapp, M.S. 2005

Kerry Martin, M.S. 2006