Theses and Dissertations



Morin, Dana

Committee Member

Brooks, John

Committee Member

Spear, Stephen F.

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Committee Member

Boudreau, Melanie R.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Monitoring of wildlife populations is critical to conservation and public health and provides crucial information necessary for effective decision-making and management. Effective wildlife monitoring requires effective and adaptable sampling methods that consider the researchers as well as species being monitored. This thesis assesses non-invasive sampling methods to 1) detect cryptic shrew species, and 2) identify bacteria of public health concern present in American black bear (Ursus americanus) fecal matter. Results from Chapter 2 demonstrate the potential for monitoring rare and sparsely distributed small mammals using soil sourced environmental DNA with targeted sampling (e.g., cover objects for shrews). Chapter 3 demonstrates fecal indicator bacteria harboring antimicrobial resistant genes of public health concern can be tracked in the shared human-wildlife environment using non-invasively sourced wildlife fecal samples. This study contributes to future monitoring efforts needed to detect other rare species and identify members of the resistome using non-invasive methods