Navigating the human footprint: Linking animal behavior to functional connectivity in shared spaces

Institute Seminar by Kaitlyn Gaynor

  • Date: May 16, 2023
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Kaitlyn Gaynor
  • Dr. Kaitlyn Gaynor is a wildlife ecologist and conservation scientist, and her research draws on behavioral and community ecology to understand the roles that humans play in ecological systems. Kaitlyn is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Zoology and Botany at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Prior to joining UBC, Kaitlyn received her PhD from UC Berkeley and completed her postdoctoral research at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara.
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Bücklestrasse + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact:
Navigating the human footprint: Linking animal behavior to functional connectivity in shared spaces
Given the ongoing loss of biodiversity and the expansion of the global human footprint, it is critical and urgent to understand how human disturbance shapes ecological communities. The growing human footprint poses a particular challenge for large-bodied, wide-ranging terrestrial mammals, whose space needs often bring them into contact, and conflict, with people. An understanding of behavioral plasticity and its constraints can allow us to understand and predict patterns of animal movement and activity in response to human presence, infrastructure, and land use change. In this talk, I will elucidate the mechanisms and consequences of functional connectivity for large mammals in these shared, semi-permeable landscapes. Drawing on meta-analyses and case studies from Mozambique and the United States, I will explore how human disturbance shapes landscapes of fear for wild animals, and how animals modify their behavior to navigate perceived anthropogenic risk and benefit in space and time. I will discuss how the resulting patterns of animal movement and activity can scale up to affect individual fitness, ecological dynamics, and human societies, with implications for conservation.

The MPI-AB Seminar Series is open to members of MPI and Uni Konstanz. The zoom link is published each week in the MPI-AB newsletter.

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