Michael Buchalski, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Conservation Genetics Mike

Education

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, 2013, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
B.S. in Environmental Geoscience, 1997, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
B.S. in Zoology, 1996, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Research

My research focuses on the conservation of vertebrate species (primarily mammals), often utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the demographic and genetic consequences of habitat loss, population isolation, diminishing population size, and loss of genetic variation. As a molecular ecologist, I am interested in the ecological and evolutionary forces which shape genetic spatial structure at various scales, ranging from regional patterns of dispersal and resultant gene flow, to individual-level behavior such as kin-based social group formation and mate choice. I typically use a combination of capture-recapture modeling, neutral molecular markers, and graph theory techniques in my investigations. I am also interested in disturbance ecology, primarily as it relates to the effects of fire on wildlife populations in forest ecosystems.

ProjectsMike with bat

• Conservation genetics of desert bighorn sheep in the Peninsular Ranges of southern California

• Response of forest bat communities to mixed-severity wildfire in the Sierra Nevada Range of California

• Patterns of mate choice and implications for gene flow in populations of Spix’s disk-winged bat (Thyroptera tricolor) in southern Costa Rica

• Social network analysis, relatedness, and inclusive fitness within roosting groups of T. tricolor

• Age-structured survival and mean lifespan for T. tricolor as estimated using capture-recapture modeling

• Genetic and demographic estimates of effective population size (Ne) and pedigree simulation to infer mating system in T. tricolor

• Landscape genetics of T. tricolor in the Osa Peninsula region of southwestern Costa Rica using resistance surface modeling

Publications Mike

Buchalski, M. R., J.B. Fontaine, P. A. Heady III, J. P. Hayes, W. F. Frick. 2013. Response of bats to fire severity in mixed-conifer forest of California, USA. PloS ONE 8(3): e57884. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057884.

Buchalski, M. R., G. Chaverri, M.J. Vonhof. When genes move farther than offspring: Gene flow by male gamete dispersal in the highly philopatric bat species Thyroptera tricolor. In review

Vonhof, M.J., M.R. Buchalski. Patterns of parentage and relatedness in roosting groups of Spix’s disk-winged bat: Exploring the link between genetic relatedness and social network structure. In preparation

Buchalski, M. R., G. Chaverri, M.J. Vonhof. Mark-recapture evidence for age-structured variation in survival in Spix’s disk-winged bat (Thyroptera tricolor). In preparation

Presentations

Buchalski, M.R., J. B. Fontaine, J. P. Hayes, P.A. HeadyIII, W.R. Frick. 2010. Response of bats to fire severity in mixed-conifer forest of California, USA. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Buchalski, M.R., G. Chaverri, M.J. Vonhof. 2012. Genetic evidence of mating forays in Spix’s disk-winged bat: An adaptation for close inbreeding avoidance. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Buchalski, M.R., G. Chaverri, M.J. Vonhof. 2011. Age-structure and Seasonal Variation in Survival in Spix’s Disk-winged Bat. North American Symposium on Bat Research.

Buchalski, M.R., J. P. Hayes, P.A. Heady III, W.R. Frick. 2010. Shifts in bat activity in response to wildfire in the Southern Sierra Nevada. North American Symposium on Bat Research.