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Shamon, Hila

Research Ecologist

Positions

Hila Shamon is a researcher with expertise in landscape ecology, conservation biology, wildlife management, and conservation translocations. Shamon's research interests are focused on 1) understanding the effects of anthropogenic activities on biodiversity patterns; 2) the role of keystone species and ecosystem engineers in human-dominated landscapes; 3) developing practices for rewilding and restoration of ecosystems; 4) conducting applied research focused on directing management of wild populations in semi-natural landscapes; and 5) incorporating human dimension aspects in wildlife research (i.e. working landscapes). She currently leads numerous research projects in the Northern Great Plains of North America. Projects include reintroductions of swift fox, Plains bison and black-footed ferrets; investigating multi-ungulate responses to phenological gradients; exploring soundscape gradients in relation to lanuse practices; and the mechanism of Plains bison collective movement. Shamon's projects include many collaborators with diverse background that contribute to inter-disciplinary research. Through her work, Shamon engages with communities to ensure that rights and stakeholders are part of the scientific process, and all these research projects are co-designed with a diverse group of external partners. 

Geographic Focus

research overview

  • The movement of organisms is a fundamental aspect of life and a driver of ecosystem functions. Movement ecology explores the underlying mechanisms of movement and how movement impacts processes such as species survival, population dynamics, the structure of communities, and the habitats they select. Past research indicates that human activities alter how animals move and can hinder natural process. Shamon's research aims to further these investigations by focusing on the impacts of land use and landcover change on large mammal movement, behavior, (re)colonization, and utilization. Since 2018, Shamon developed research under the Smithsonian Institution’s Great Plains Science Program. Her program combines basic and applied research with focus on Northern Great Plains mammals, and includes a diverse set of projects that fall under four common themes: 1) investigating both single and multi-species space use and movement patterns, across landcover/land-use and phenological gradients; 2) exploring the impacts of native and non-native mega-grazers on biodiversity patterns; 3) investigating the mechanism of ungulate collective movement and behavior; and 4) species reintroductions and recolonization. Shamon's research builds on extensive field surveys that provide in-depth understanding of the system. She adapts and innovate the use of diverse survey technologies to best meet the needs of the research question, including camera-traps, radio-telemetry, audio recorders, and genomics, as well as landscape analyses and monitoring via remotely-sensed imagery. Shamon work closely with many stakeholders including US state and federal agencies, universities, Native American communities, local NGOs, and private landowners.

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