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 bioeconomic risk analysis of an invasive plant (Elodea), modeling winter soundscapes, 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.


  • Dom Watts, Wildlife Biologist


    Dom Watts is a wildlife biologist primarily focused on the ecology and management of large mammals and predator-prey relationships. He is an experienced wildlife biologist with skills ranging from capture, tagging, and radio-tracking large mammals using aircraft to ground based studies of small mammal and waterfowl ecology. Dom received a B.S. in Wildlife Science and a B.S. in Fisheries Science from New Mexico State University, and a M.S. from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.


  • Dawn Magness, Landscape Ecologist


    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, and botany.  He earned an M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a B.S. in Entomology from the University of Florida.


  • 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.