M.S., Conservation Biology, California State University, Sacramento 2013
B.S., Environmental Biology and Management, University of California, Davis 2006
- Marine Ecology
- Gene Transcription
- Wildlife Immunology
Science and Products
Using gene transcription to assess ecological and anthropological stressors in brown bears
Increasingly, population- and ecosystem-level health assessments are performed using sophisticated molecular tools. Advances in molecular technology enable the identification of synergistic effects of multiple stressors on the individual physiology of different species. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are an apex predator; thus, they are ideal...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Gustine, Dave; Joly, Kyle; Hilderbrand, Grant
An evaluation of the efficacy of using environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas)
Detecting populations of rare or cryptic species is essential for their conservation. For species like giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas), conventional survey methods can be expensive and inefficient. These sampling difficulties might be overcome by modern techniques that detect deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) shed by organisms into the environment...Halstead, Brian J.; Wood, Dustin A.; Bowen, Lizabeth; Waters, Shannon C.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Ersan, Julia S.; Skalos, Shannon M.; Casazza, Michael L.
Gene transcription patterns in response to low level petroleum contaminants in Mytilus trossulus from field sites and harbors in southcentral Alaska
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill damaged a wide range of natural resources, including intertidal communities, and post-spill studies demonstrated acute and chronic exposure and injury to an array of species. Standard toxicological methods to evaluate petroleum contaminants have assessed tissue burdens, with fewer assays providing...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Waters, Shannon C.; Bodkin, James L.; Lindeberg, Mandy; Esler, Daniel N.
Coupling gene-based and classic veterinary diagnostics improves interpretation of health and immune function in the Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
The analysis of blood constituents is a widely used tool to aid in monitoring of animal health and disease. However, classic blood diagnostics (i.e. hematologic and plasma biochemical values) often do not provide sufficient information to determine the state of an animal’s health. Field studies on wild tortoises and other reptiles have had limited...Drake, Karla K.; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lewison, Rebecca L.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Braun, Josephine; Waters, Shannon C.; Miles, A. Keith
Negative impacts of invasive plants on conservation of sensitive desert wildlife
Habitat disturbance from development, resource extraction, off-road vehicle use, and energy development ranks highly among threats to desert systems worldwide. In the Mojave Desert, United States, these disturbances have promoted the establishment of nonnative plants, so that native grasses and forbs are now intermixed with, or have been replaced...Drake, K. Kristina; Bowen, Lizabeth; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Berger, Andrew J.; Custer, Nathan; Waters, Shannon C.; Johnson, Jay D.; Miles, A. Keith; Lewison, Rebecca L.
Gene transcript profiling in sea otters post-Exxon Valdez oil spill: A tool for marine ecosystem health assessment
Using a panel of genes stimulated by oil exposure in a laboratory study, we evaluated gene transcription in blood leukocytes sampled from sea otters captured from 2006–2012 in western Prince William Sound (WPWS), Alaska, 17–23 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS). We compared WPWS sea otters to reference...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Waters, Shannon C.; Bodkin, James L.
Gene transcription in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from disparate populations
Polar bears in the Beaufort (SB) and Chukchi (CS) Seas experience different environments due primarily to a longer history of sea ice loss in the Beaufort Sea. Ecological differences have been identified as a possible reason for the generally poorer body condition and reproduction of Beaufort polar bears compared to those from the Chukchi, but the...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Meyerson, Randi; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.
Enhanced biological processes associated with alopecia in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)
Populations of wildlife species worldwide experience incidents of mass morbidity and mortality. Primary or secondary drivers of these events may escape classical detection methods for identifying microbial insults, toxin exposure, or additional stressors. In 2012, 28% of polar bears sampled in a study in the southern Beaufort Sea region of Alaska...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Stott, Jeffrey L.; Waters, Shannon C.; Atwood, Todd C.
Integrating gene transcription-based biomarkers to understand desert tortoise and ecosystem health
Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus...Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Drake, Karla K.; Waters, Shannon C.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.