Erin Boydston (Former Employee)
Science and Products
Automating the use of citizen scientists’ biodiversity surveys in iNaturalist to facilitate early detection of species’ responses to climate change
A BioBlitz is a field survey method for finding and documenting as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period. The National Park Service and National Geographic Society hosted the largest BioBlitz survey ever in 2016; people in more than 120 national parks used the iNaturalist app on mobile devices to document organisms they observed. Resulting records have Global...
As cities and highways expand to support growing communities, USGS scientists are studying wildlife ecology to inform conservation efforts. Dr. Erin Boydston collaborates with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others to study the behaviors and disease ecology of bobcats and other carnivores in southern California. Explore this project’s “Science” tab to learn...
Today, urban development is rapidly fragmenting the open spaces of western North America. This can affect species that need large areas to roam, live at low densities, and tend to come into conflict with people. Dr. Erin Boydston studies the connectivity of wide-ranging mammals to inform long-term conservation planning in southern California.
Dr. Erin Boydston leads the research program at the Santa Monica Mountains Field Station. Select the "Science" tab to learn more about her projects.
Wildlife underpass use and environmental impact assessment: A southern California case study
Environmental planners often rely on transportation structures (i.e., underpasses, bridges) to provide connectivity for animals across developed landscapes. Environmental assessments of predicted environmental impacts from proposed developments often rely on literature reviews or other indirect measures to establish the importance of wildlife...Longcore, Travis; Almaleh, Lindsay; Chetty, Brittany; Francis, Kathryn; Freidin, Robert; Huang, Ching-Sheng; Pickett, Brooke; Schreck, Diane; Scruggs, Brooke; Shulman, Elise; Swauger, Alissa; Tashnek, Alison; Wright, Michael; Boydston, Erin E.
Canid vs. canid: Insights into coyote–dog encounters from social media
While the relationship between coyotes (Canis latrans) and house cats (Felis catus) may be characterized as one between predators and their prey, coyote interactions with domestic dogs (C. lupus familiaris) appear to be more varied and may include behaviors associated with canid sociality. While encounters between coyotes and dogs are difficult to...Boydston, Erin E.; Abelson, Eric S.; Kazanjian, Ari; Blumstein, Daniel T.
Community for Data Integration fiscal year 2017 funded project report
The U.S. Geological Survey Community for Data Integration annually funds small projects focusing on data integration for interdisciplinary research, innovative data management, and demonstration of new technologies. This report provides a summary of the 11 projects funded in fiscal year 2017, outlining their goals, activities, and outputs.Hsu, Leslie; Allstadt, Kate E.; Bell, Tara M.; Boydston, Erin E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Everette, A. Lance; Lentz, Erika E.; Peters, Jeff; Reichert, Brian E.; Nagorsen, Sarah; Sherba, Jason T.; Signell, Richard P.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Young, John A.
Modeling resource selection of bobcats (Lynx rufus) and vertebrate species distributions in Orange County, southern California
For nature reserves in urban settings, wildlife and wildlife habitats may be affected by recreational activities and intensive, adjacent development. Sustaining biodiversity in such reserves is a challenge for land and natural resource managers, but identification of core areas and key resources for wildlife species may help in planning for...Boydston, Erin E.; Tracey, Jeff A.
Spatial capture–recapture with partial identity: An application to camera traps
Camera trapping surveys frequently capture individuals whose identity is only known from a single flank. The most widely used methods for incorporating these partial identity individuals into density analyses discard some of the partial identity capture histories, reducing precision, and, while not previously recognized, introducing bias. Here, we...Augustine, Ben C.; Royle, J. Andrew; Kelly, Marcella J.; Satter, Christopher B.; Alonso, Robert S.; Boydston, Erin E.; Crooks, Kevin R.
Urban landscapes can change virus gene flow and evolution in a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore
Urban expansion has widespread impacts on wildlife species globally, including the transmission and emergence of infectious diseases. However, there is almost no information about how urban landscapes shape transmission dynamics in wildlife. Using an innovative phylodynamic approach combining host and pathogen molecular data with landscape...Fountain-Jones, Nicholas M.; Craft, Meggan E.; Funk, W. Chris; Kozakiewicz, Chris; Trumbo, Daryl; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Lee, Justin S.; VandeWoude, Sue; Carver, Scott
Feline immunodeficiency virus cross-species transmission: Implications for emergence of new lentiviral infections
Owing to a complex history of host-parasite coevolution, lentiviruses exhibit a high degree of species specificity. Given the well-documented viral archeology of HIV emergence following human exposures to SIV, understanding processes that promote successful cross-species lentiviral transmissions is highly relevant. We have previously reported...Lee, Justin; Malmberg, Jennifer L.; Wood, Britta A.; Hladky, Sahaja; Troyer, Ryan; Roelke, Melody; Cunningham, Mark W.; McBride, Roy; Vickers, Winston; Boyce, Walter; Boydston, Erin E.; Serieys, Laurel E.K.; Riley, Seth P D; Crooks, Kevin R.; VandeWoude, Sue
A synthetic review of notoedres species mites and mange
Notoedric mange, caused by obligately parasitic sarcoptiform Notoedres mites, is associated with potentially fatal dermatitis with secondary systemic disease in small mammals, felids and procyonids among others, as well as an occasional zoonosis. We describe clinical spectra in non-chiropteran hosts, review risk factors and summarize ecological...Foley, Janet E.; Serieys, L.E.; Stephenson, N.; Riley, S.; Foley, C.; Jennings, M.; Wengert, G.; Vickers, W.; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa L.; Moriarty, J.; Clifford, D.L.
Pathogen exposure varies widely among sympatric populations of wild and domestic felids across the United States
Understanding how landscape, host, and pathogen traits contribute to disease exposure requires systematic evaluations of pathogens within and among host species and geographic regions. The relative importance of these attributes is critical for management of wildlife and mitigating domestic animal and human disease, particularly given rapid...Carver, Scott; Bevins, Sarah N.; Lappin, Michael R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Alldredge, Mathew W.; Logan, Kenneth A.; Sweanor, Linda L.; Riley, Seth P.D.; Serieys, Laurel E.K.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Boyce, Walter M.; McBride, Roy; Cunnigham, Mark C.; Jennings, Megan; Lewis, Jesse S.; Lunn, Tamika; Crooks, Kevin R.; VandeWoude, Sue
Can orchards help connect Mediterranean ecosystems? Animal movement data alter conservation priorities
As natural habitats become fragmented by human activities, animals must increasingly move through human-dominated systems, particularly agricultural landscapes. Mapping areas important for animal movement has therefore become a key part of conservation planning. Models of landscape connectivity are often parameterized using expert opinion and...Nogeire, Theresa M.; Davis, Frank W.; Crooks, Kevin R.; McRae, Brad H.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Boydston, Erin E.
Documentation of mountain lions in Marin County, California, 2010–2013
Prior to 2010, mountain lions (Puma concolor) have rarely been documented in Marin County, California. Although there are reports of sightings of mountain lions or observations of mountain lion sign, most have not been verified by photographs or physical samples. Beginning in 2010, we conducted a pilot study of mountain lions in Marin County...Fifield, Virginia L.; Rossi, Aviva J.; Boydston, Erin E.
Mark-recapture and mark-resight methods for estimating abundance with remote cameras: a carnivore case study
Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage...Alanso, Robert S.; McClintock, Brett T.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Boydston, Erin E.; Crooks, Kevin R.
USGS biologists are using GPS technology to track carnivores as they cross the highways of urban Southern California. USGS Western Ecological Research Center biologists Erin Boydston and Lisa Lyren attached GPS tracking collars to wild bobcats to shed light on how these carnivores are using highway under-crossings to travel between habitats, and whether urban development...