Ever hear of the New England cottontail? This little bunny looks extremely similar to the eastern cottontail but is apparently much rarer. SUNY ESF Ph.D. Post-doctoral Research Associate – Amanda Cheeseman – will explain her research on this rare rabbit as well as management recommendations to increase its numbers.
Amanda’s research focus at SUNY ESF is on underrepresented mammals of conservation interest. She studies the ecology of the declining New England cottontail, and its responses to the introduced eastern cottontail. As an early successional obligate species, it's thought that recent range contractions in the New England cottontail are due to the progressive loss of early successional habitat as it matures. Additionally, it is thought the presence of eastern cottontails might inhibit re-colonization of suitable habitat patches. Using genetics and telemetry, Amanda examines the impacts of eastern cottontails on New England cottontail habitat associations, survival, and dispersal in the Hudson Valley, NY.
Amanda is originally from Michigan and received a B.S. from Michigan State University before obtaining an M.S. from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. After matriculating to SUNY ESF, she hopes to continue research and teaching as a professor. When not working, Amanda enjoys reading fiction and playing with her Australian cattle dog, Brisbane .