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Keith Aubry

Keith Aubry
Emeritus Scientist
Ecological Process and Function
3625 93rd Ave. SW
Olympia, WA 98512-1101
United States
Current Research
My current research is focused on the ecology and conservation of rare and elusive forest carnivores in the Pacific Northwest, including the wolverine, Cascade red fox, Canada lynx, and fisher. My field work involves a long-term radiotelemetry study of the wolverine in the northern Cascade Range in Washington and southern British Columbia. This study is designed to gather baseline information on the distribution, biology, ecological relations, and genetic affinities of the wolverine in this region, where they have not been studied previously. We are now in our 6th year of fieldwork, and are planning to continue the study for as long as we can secure funding. We are also in the process of developing a long-term monitoring strategy for wolverines in the North Cascades based on specialized remote-camera stations that are designed to obtain clear photos of wolverine throat and chest blaze patterns, which can be used to identify individuals. I am also working with colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana, to study the potential effects of continued global warming on the distribution and connectivity of wolverine habitat in the western contiguous United States, and to understand their phylogeography in North America. I'm also working with colleagues at the University of California at Davis to study the phylogeographic history and conservation genetics of the red fox in North America, with particular emphasis on the montane red foxes, especially the Cascade red fox, which occurs only in Washington.
Past Research
I have been studying the ecology and conservation biology of terrestrial wildlife in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. My previous field studies have included community studies of amphibians and small mammals in unmanaged Douglas-fir forests, radiotelemetry studies of the pileated woodpecker in coastal forests of Washington and the fisher in the Cascade Range of southern Oregon, snow-tracking studies of the Canada lynx in the North Cascades of Washington, and a large-scale silvicultural experiment designed to evaluate the ecological effects of various levels and patterns of green-tree retention in mature Douglas-fir forests on a broad array of ecological and social response variables.
Research Interest
Distribution, ecological relations, evolutionary history, and conservation genetics of rare and elusive forest carnivores in the western mountains of the contiguous United States.
Why This Research Is Important
The lack of reliable information on the current and historical distribution, ecology, and evolutionary relations of potentially threatened forest carnivores is often a significant impediment to the conservation of their populations. My research is designed primarily to fill those information gaps so that informed conservation decisions can be made before a species becomes threatened, endangered, or extirpated.
  • University of Washington, Ph.D., Wildlife Science, 1983
  • Yale University, M.F.S., Wildlife Ecology, 1977
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.S., Forestry and Wildlife Management, 1974
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Habitat Preferences of Fishers

Year: 2013
This is the first study to investigate the broader applicability of habitat selection patterns for fishers derived from multiple independent radiotelemetry studies conducted over a broad geographic area.

Conserving Martens, Sables, and Fishers

Year: 2012
New book provides the first comprehensive synthesis of knowledge about these species in nearly 20 years