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Zeller, Katherine

Post-doctoral Researcher
Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Department of Environmental Conservation
Email: kzeller AT



Ph.D. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, 2016
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
“Evaluating resistance surfaces for modeling wildlife movement and connectivity”


M.S. in Environmental Studies, 2003
Department of Environmental Studies
University of Montana          
“Using the Jaguar (Panthera onca) for Biodiversity Conservation Planning in Central America”


B.S. in Biology, 1997
Tufts University        


Research Interests

Using theory and methods from landscape ecology, wildlife biology, biostatistics, landscape genetics and conservation biology, I model animal movement, habitat use, and wildlife corridors in human-dominated landscapes. My research is defined by two major tenets. The first is to provide spatially-based quantitative analyses to inform applied conservation work. The second is to critically assess, compare, and contrast the current methods used to identify areas of conservation priority to promote best practices.


Peer-reviewed publications


Zeller, K.A., M.K. Jennings, T.W. Vickers, H.B. Ernest, S.A. Cushman, W.M. Boyce. In review. Are all data types and connectivity models created equal? Validating connectivity approaches with dispersal data.

Zeller, K.A., D.W. Wattles, S. DeStefano. In review. Predicting moose-vehicle collisions in Massachusetts, USA: Incorporating road crossing data into collision risk models.

Wattles, D.W., K.A. Zeller, S. DeStefano. In review. Movement and habitat response of moose to a high density road network.

Petracca, L., J. Frair, J. Cohen, A.P. Calderón, J. Carazo-Salazar, F. Castañeda, D. Corrales-Gutiérrez, R. Foster, B. Harmsen, S. Hernández-Potosme, L. Herrera, M. Olmos, S. Pereira, H. Robinson, N. Robinson, R. Salom-Pérez, Y. Urbina, K.A. Zeller, H. Quigley. 2017. Robust inference on large-scale species habitat use using interview data: The status of jaguars outside protected areas in Central America. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI 10.1111/1365-2664.12972

Zeller, K.A., T.W. Vickers, H.B. Ernest, W.M. Boyce. 2017. Multi-level, multi-scale resource selection functions and resistance surfaces for conservation planning: pumas as a case study. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0179570. 10.1371/journal.pone.0179570

Zeller, K.A., K. McGarigal, S.A. Cushman, P. Beier, T.W. Vickers, W.M. Boyce. 2017. Sensitivity of resource selection and connectivity models to landscape definition. Landscape Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s10980-017-0489-8

Olsoy, P.J., K.A. Zeller, J.A. Hicke, H.B. Quigley, A.R. Rabinowitz, D.H. Thornton. 2016. Quantifying the effects of deforestation and fragmentation on a range-wide conservation plan for jaguars. Biological Conservation 203: 8-16.

Zeller, K.A., K. McGarigal, P. Beier, S.A. Cushman, T.W. Vickers, W.M. Boyce. 2016. Using step and path selection functions for estimating resistance to movement: pumas as a case study. Landscape Ecology 31: 1319-1335.

McGarigal, K., K.A. Zeller, S.A. Cushman. 2016. Multi-scale habitat selection modeling: Introduction to the special issue. Landscape Ecology 31: 1157-1160.

McGarigal, K., H.Y. Wan, K.A. Zeller, B.C. Timm, S.A. Cushman. 2016. Multi-scale habitat modeling: A review and outlook. Landscape Ecology 31: 1161-1175.

Zeller, K.A., T. G. Creech, K.L. Millette, R.S. Crowhurst, R.A. Long, H.H. Wagner, N. Balkenhol, E.L. Landguth. 2016. Using simulations to evaluate Mantel-based methods for assessing landscape resistance to gene flow. Ecology and Evolution 6 (12): 4115-4128.

Thornton, D., K.A. Zeller, C. Rondinini, L. Boitani, K. Crooks, C. Burdett, H. Quigley. 2016. Assessing the umbrella value of a range-wide conservation network for jaguars (Panthera onca). Ecological Applications 26: 1112-1124.

Zeller, K.A., K. McGarigal, P. Beier, S.A. Cushman, T.W. Vickers, W.M. Boyce. 2014. ­Sensitivity of landscape resistance estimates based on point selection functions to scale and behavioral state: pumas as a case study. Landscape Ecology 29: 541-557.

Zeller, K.A., K. McGarigal, A. Whiteley. 2012. Estimating landscape resistance to movement: A review. Landscape Ecology 27:777-797.

Zeller, K.A., S. Nijhawan, J. Hines, R. Salom-Perez, S. Hernandez. 2011. Integrating Site Occupancy Modeling and Interview Data for Identifying Jaguar (Panthera onca) Corridors: A case study from Nicaragua. Biological Conservation 144: 892-901.

Salom-Pérez, R., J. Polisar, H. Quigley, K.A. Zeller. 2010. Iniciativa del Corredor del Jaguar: Un Corredor Biológico y un Compromiso a Largo Plazo para la Conservación. Mesoamericana 14: 25-34.

Rabinowitz, A., K. A. Zeller. 2010. A Range-wide model of landscape connectivity and conservation for the jaguar, Panthera onca. Biological Conservation 143: 939-945.

Zeller, K.A. 2007. Jaguars in the New Millennium Data Set Update: The State of the Jaguar in 2006. Wildlife Conservation Society Report. Bronx, NY.


Page updated: September 28, 2017