Nelson Institute researcher to share his work at Arboretum luncheon

On February 22, Nelson Institute postdoctoral research associate in Ecological Studies Cooper Rosin will share his insight into wild meat hunting and poaching for elephant ivory during the Friends of the Arboretum Luncheon-Lectures Series. His talk titled, “Tropical Forests and Elephants: Hunting, Poaching, and Conservation” will feature information that Rosin gathered as a part of his dissertation and doctorate work at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment.

Cooper Rosin

“I’m going to talk generally about tropical forests and the consequences of bush meat and poaching for secondary parts as it pertains to elephants,” Rosin said. “I’ll talk about the population level consequences for elephants as well as the ecological consequences for the forest more broadly because the elephants are considered ecological engineers. They really do a lot for their ecosystem and when elephants are removed or the population decreases, there are a lot of changes to the forest. I’ll also touch on some of the politics around conservation and the status of protection.”

While the talk will focus largely on Rosin’s dissertation work on hunting and logging in the tropical forests of Gabon, Central Africa, Rosin is also able to connect his previous research with his current Nelson Institute research that centers around biodiversity, natural history, and conservation.

Rosin is the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cottam-Loucks Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ecological Studies. This is a three-year postdoctoral appointment that has the potential to be extended. In this role, Rosin works with Nelson Institute colleagues including Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and Global Environment (SAGE) assistant professor Zuzana Burivalova  and Nelson Institute professor, Paul Zedler on a variety of research relating to the consequences of human activities in prairies and tropical forests.

“A lot more of my research is focused around here [Wisconsin] with Paul Zedler’s interest in prairies and restoration ecology,” Rosin said. “I’m also working with Zuzana who shares similar interests with me regarding tropical forests, so we are working on a bird conservation project. In particular, the effect of logging on birds.”

Rosin is also bringing his research into the classroom. He is working with the Center for Ecology and the Environment on launching a new doctoral degree program and leads several classes on a variety of ecological topics.

“While a lot of my work at Nelson will not be talked about during the Arboretum Luncheon, I have integrated a lot of this tropical forest and conservation research into my teaching,” Rosin said. “I’ve taught a graduate seminar, a summer class for undergraduates called Ecology and the Global Environment, and this past fall, along with Paul Zedler, I taught a capstone course focused on prairie restoration.”