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Ruscena Wiederholt, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Arizona
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis & Synthesis

UA Phone: (520) 626-9868
UA Office/Lab: 226B Biological Sciences East
Email: rwiederholt@email.arizona.edu

Areas of expertise: conservation biology, population  dynamics, ecological modeling, tropical ecology, ecosystem services

Ph.D. 2010. Pennsylvania State University, Ecology

M.S. 2005.  Pierre and Marie Curie University, Ecology, Biodiversity & Evolution

B.A. 2002. University of California-Berkeley, Integrative Biology

Dr. Ruscena Wiederholt is an Assistant Research Scientist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis & Synthesis. She is based at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Wiederholt received her B.A. from the University of California–Berkeley in Integrative Biology. After graduation, she worked on the incipient stages of the Grinnell project, a large-scale resurvey project of Californian vertebrates, and then escaped to the tropics to work on forest ecology in Barro Colorado Island, Panama. She then headed in the opposite direction to Paris, where she received a M.S. from Pierre and Marie Curie University investigating sexual selection in passerines for her thesis research.

She remained grounded in the East Coast for many years to receive her Ph.D. in Ecology from Pennsylvania State University. Her dissertation research investigated the effects of climate change on primate population dynamics and reproduction, and the effects of reserve areas on hunting sustainability in primate populations.

She then moved south and to smaller species during a postdoctoral position at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland. She modeled the effects of climate change and management strategies on endangered amphibian populations.

Dr. Wiederholt has broad interests in conservation biology and quantitative ecology. At the University of Arizona, she is investigating the migratory patterns of Mexican free-tailed bats, the ecosystem services they provide, and strategies for their conservation. She is also involved in quantifying subsidies for ecosystem services and developing spatially-explicit models of habitat importance for migratory species. In addition, she is the primary coordinator of a USGS Powell Center working group’s efforts to model spatial subsidies of Mexican free-tailed bats, Monarch butterflies, and Northern Pintail ducks. Future research projects include modeling the impacts of climate change and wind turbines on Mexican free-tailed bat population viability and ecosystem service provision.


López-Hoffman, L, R Wiederholt, C Sansone, KJ Bagstad, P Cryan, JE Diffendorfer, J Goldstein, K LaSharr, J Loomis, G McCracken, RA Medellín, A Russell & D Semmens. 2014. Market forces & technological substitutes can cause declines in the value of bat pest-control services for cotton. PlosOne 9(2): e87912. (link)

Diffendorfer, JD, J Loomis, L Reis, K Oberhauser, L López-Hoffman, D Semmens, B Butterfield, K Bagstad, B Semmens, J Goldstein, R Wiederholt, B Mattson & W Thogmartin. 2013 (early view online). National valuation of monarch butterflies suggests incentive-based conservation strategies could be effective. Conservation Letters. (link)

Wiederholt, R, L López-Hoffman, J Cline, R Medellin, P Cryan, A Russell, G McCracken, J Diffendorfer, and D Semmens. 2013. Moving across the border: A conservation modeling approach for migratory bat populations. Ecosphere 4 (9): article 14. doi:10.1890/ES-1300023.1 (link)

Bagstad, K, and R Wiederholt. 2013. Tourism values for the Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana). Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 18: 307–311, doi:10.1080/10871209.2013.789573 (link)

Wiederholt, R, and E Post. 2011. Birth seasonality and offspring production in threatened neotropical primates related to climate. Global Change Biology, 17 (10): 3035–3045. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02427.x (link)

Wiederholt, R, E Fernandez-Duque, D Diefenbach, and R Rudran. 2010. Modeling the impacts of hunting on the population dynamics of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). Ecological Modelling, 221 (20): 2482–2490. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.06.026 (link)

Wiederholt, R, and E Post. 2010. Tropical warming and the dynamics of endangered primates. Biology Letters, 6: 257–260. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0710 (published online 28 Oct 2009). (link)

In review

Wiederholt, R, C Svancara, L Lopez-Hoffman, W Thogmartin, G McCracken, J Diffendorfer, K Bagstad, P
Cryan, A Russell, D Semmens, & R Medellin. Optimal conservation strategies for Mexican free-tailed bats: A
population viability and ecosystem services approach.

Wiederholt, R, B Mattson, W Thogmartin, J Diffendorfer, R Erickson, & L Lopez-Hoffman. The role of local
populations for a migratory species.

Svancara, C, R Wiederholt, & L Lopez-Hoffman. What’s threatening Mexican free-tailed bat roosts

phone (520) 626-9868 | e-mail lauralh@email.arizona.edu

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