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Biology Staff

  • John Morton, Supervisory Fish & Wildlife Biologist


    Dr. John Morton is an avian ecologist with expertise in American black ducks, sanderlings, and Mariana crows. His current interests are climate change adaptation, inventory and monitoring design, and the effects of human disturbance on wildlife. Graduate studies he has supported recently include shorebird use of Chickaloon Flats, behavior and distribution of American marten, terrestrial arthropod diversity, response to climate change by the National Wildlife Refuge System, distribution and abundance of exotic earthworms, and residential perspectives of brown and black bears on the Kenai Peninsula.


  • Mark Laker, Ecologist (Data Manager)


    Mark Laker is an ecologist with expertise in fish biology, limnology, data management, application development, and geographic information systems (GIS). He is currently developing a web based system to provide public access to Refuge biological inventory and monitoring data. Additional interests include using aquatic inventories and remote sensing data to classify aquatic resources on the Refuge. Mark earned his M.S. in Fisheries Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.


  • Elizabeth Bella, Ecologist


    Dr. Elizabeth Bella is a vegetation ecologist with interests in invasive plant biology, landscape vegetation dynamics, systematic botany, and climate change effects to northern ecosystems. She is currently investigating the application of historical legacy data to enhance understanding of current and future vegetation trends, potential tree growth on the Kenai Peninsula in a changing climate, and assisting with DNA barcoding.


  • Nathan Olson, Wildlife Biologist/Pilot


    Nathan Olson is a wildlife biologist and airplane pilot with interests in big game management, predator prey relationships, human/wildlife interactions in the urban environment, and wildlife habitat use patterns. He is an experienced natural resource pilot with skills ranging from logistic support for field camps to dip netting swans from float equipped aircraft. Nate earned his BS from the University of Montana in Missoula.

  • Dawn Magness, Fish & Wildlife Biologist (GIS Manager)


    Dr. Dawn Magness is a landscape ecologist interested in climate change adaptation, landscape planning, ecological services, and spatial modeling. She earned her M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Science at Texas A & M University and her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary Resilience and Adaptation Program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her current projects use multiple methods to assess ecosystem vulnerability to inform strategic adaptation planning. She has conducted research on songbirds, flying squirrels, and American marten.


  • Matt Bowser, Entomologist


    Matt Bowser has interests in biotic inventories and monitoring, insect ecology, exotic earthworms, DNA barcoding as an identification tool, faunistics of Alaskan terrestrial arthropods, management of natural history collections, botany, and systematics of bristletails. Matt is currently the president of the Alaska Entomological Society.


  • Todd Eskelin, Fish & Wildlife Biologist (Subsistence)


    Todd Eskelin provides general support for the Refuge Biology Program with emphasis on game management issues including review of actions by the Federal Subsistence Board and Board of Game. He manages black bear baiting permits and Special Use Permits for scientific research. With 20 years of experience surveying and banding birds throughout Alaska, Todd also reviews all eBird entries from the Kenai Peninsula Borough.


  • Toby Burke, Biological Technician


    Toby Burke provides general support for the Refuge Biology Program including conducting surveys of breeding trumpeter swans and snowshoe hares, and helping to manage invasive plants as a certified herbicide applicator. With expertise in the identification and distribution of birds in Alaska, Toby contributes data to the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Alaska Landbird Monitoring System, helps coordinate the local Christmas Bird Count, and leads field trips as part of the Kenai Birding Festival and Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.


  • Timothy Mullet, Biological Technician


    Tim Mullet is a temporary, part-time biologist in the USFWS Career Pathways Program and a Ph.D. candidate in the Biology & Wildlife Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For his dissertation, entitled "The Cumulative Ecological Effects of Snowmobiles", Tim is measuring and modeling how snowmachine activity affects moose, vegetation, and the soundscape.   


Last Updated: Oct 23, 2014
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