Cheryl has been a biologist with the USGS, Western Ecological Research Center since 2003.
She specializes in long-term monitoring programs, conservation ecology and road ecology. She uses current ecological concepts and principles to design, implement, improve, and interpret complex research and monitoring projects for reptiles, amphibians and mammals. In addition to conducting fieldwork for her projects, she models a variety of spatial and demographic population processes and community dynamics in response to habitat change.
Cheryl has been integral in the design, fieldwork and dynamic occupancy analysis of data for long-term monitoring of endangered species on MCB Camp Pendleton to inform species status and trends and effective habitat and species management actions. These include the arroyo toad (since 2003), Stephens kangaroo rat (since 2005) and Pacific pocket mouse (since 2011).
Cheryl leads a wide array of research on road ecology, particularly with respect to reptiles and amphibians for the Department of Transportation and other partners. Projects range from assessing risk of road impacts across multiple species, testing the effectiveness of individual components of crossing systems, designing new passages, to conducting wide scale landscape connectivity projects.
American Badger Research
Since 2011, Cheryl has led research studying badger distribution and activity in San Diego County using canine scent detection, badger sign surveys, infrared cameras, facial recognition, hair snags, outreach efforts, and road mortality to document their distribution and core use areas. Future goals include distribution mapping, designing a long-term monitoring program, and employing the use of radiotelemetry to better understand their space use patterns and conservation needs.