The Team

Justine Smith, PI

Justine joined the Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology department at UC Davis in January 2020. Her research interests include predator-prey interactions, movement behavior, foraging ecology, wildlife restoration, and human-wildlife interactions.


University of California, Berkeley Postdoctoral Scholar
University of California, Santa Cruz PhD: Environmental Studies
University of Colorado, Boulder BA: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology


justinesmith (at)

Ellie Bolas, PhD student

Co-advisor: John Benson, University of Nebraska

Ellie’s research interests include species interactions such as competition and predation, wildlife movement and habitat use, interactions between wildlife and humans, and island ecology. Her PhD research is in partnership with the National Park Service at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and examines mule deer behavior, spatial ecology, and predator-prey interactions with mountain lions relative to wildfire, human activity, and human development in the greater Los Angeles area. Her master’s research took place on the California Channel Islands. She investigated appropriate methods for monitoring island spotted skunks, and evaluated microhabitat associations and temporal activity by island spotted skunks and island foxes that may facilitate coexistence between the two. Outside of research, Ellie engages in initiatives to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and science.


University of California, Davis  MS: Ecology 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  BA: Environmental Studies, Religious Studies


ebolas (at)