Ecological interactions at the intersection of spatial ecology, global change, and behavioral ecology.

Mark Fuka (PhD student)

I have a background in agroecology and ecosystem services. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BS in Biological Sciences. My interests include small mammal granivory and invasive plant modified habitats. I am currently working toward a master’s degree in Zoology.

My past research involved prairie bird consumption of herbivorous arthropods and their coinciding relationship with soybean defoliation caused by spatial effects and exclosure treatments (Garfinkel et al., Ecological Applications, in press). These findings highlight the ability to identify ecological services as vital mechanisms in determining effective management strategies.

As a graduate student in the Orrock Lab, I am currently studying invasive plant modified rodent seed removal through the lens of seasonality to understand how unique phenological leaf-out and senescence timing of invasive shrubs can alter granivory. There is a crucial need to understand the effects that invasive plants can have on rodent seed predation in order to more accurately predict patterns of tree recruitment.