Sarah N. Sells
I am an applied ecologist with expertise in animal behavior, spatial ecology, and decision analysis. My research aims to ask and answer questions that advance understanding of the natural world and address pressing management challenges. To this end, I collaborate closely with resource managers to produce research that addresses conservation needs.
I have always been passionate about the natural world. The moment I learned I could earn a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, I declared my major and never looked back. I have been lucky to work with numerous researchers on exciting projects that have taken me from alpine meadows of Olympic National Park, to canyon country of the Southwest, and to cloud forests of Central America. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to advance conservation for my M.S., Ph.D. and postdoctoral appointments.
I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the University of Montana, where I am working with Dr. Paul Lukacs, the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to study grizzly bear connectivity among ecosystems. I intend to continue working closely with researchers and resource managers to advance conservation and our understanding of the natural world throughout my career. I am also passionate about mentoring future generations of scientists, particularly from underrepresented groups.
While I rarely stop thinking about science, I also enjoy making the most of the natural world around me. I'm a dedicated river rat and love to spend days on the water. I rarely say no to happy hour with colleagues to discuss creative ideas and collaborations (even via only virtual happy hours during global pandemics). I also love nothing more than hikes and laid-back days alike with my spouse and our sidekicks, August 'River Dog' and Topaz 'River Otter.'
I and The University of Montana acknowledge that we are in the aboriginal territories of the Salish and Kalispel people. Today, we honor the path they have always shown us in caring for this place for the generations to come.
Ph.D., Fish and Wildlife Biology, The University of Montana. 2019.
M.S., Wildlife Biology, The University of Montana. 2014.
B.S., Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Oregon State University. 2005.
Previous Field Projects
Wolf Spatial Ecology
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks: 2015 - 2018
Wolf Trapping & Monitoring Assistant
Colorado Plateau Species Monitoring
National Park Service: 2007 - 2011
Biological Science Technician
Burrowing Owl Population Status
Wildlife Research Institute: 2008
Burrowing Owl Biologist
Sage Grouse Behavior
The University of California at Davis: 2007
Sage Grouse Research Assistant
Tropical Cloud Forest Research
Operation Wallacea: 2006
Small Mammal Scientist, Honduras
Endemic Species Declines
Olympic Marmot Project: 2004
Olympic Marmot Project Intern