Saeideh Esmaeili (PhD student, UW)
I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s of Environmental Science from Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran. Since then, I have been involved in many research projects on the conservation of locally and globally threatened species like Persian wild ass, goitered gazelle, Indian gazelle, sand cat, Asiatic cheetah, and Asiatic houbara bustard. My dissertation seeks to understand ecological and socio-economic correlates surrounding the migrations of a globally-endangered equid, the onager, in south central Iran.
Before the 1950s, onagers were widely distributed in the central and eastern arid plains of Iran. However, this species currently survives only in two separate protected areas in central Iran. Human disturbances such as expansion of farmlands and livestock production have led to habitat fragmentation over the last 50 years, highlighting the urgent need to revise national conservation strategies. My dissertation focuses on habitat use, migration, demography and conflict with local communities in Bahram-e-Goor Protected Area near Qatrouiyeh National Park. I hope my research will provide useful information to better protect this valuable species and its habitats.
My research is supported by a Berry Biodiversity Research Grant, the Cleveland Zoo, and the Saint Louis Zoo.
Esmaeili, S. and M-R Hemami. 2013. Utilization of harvester ant nest sites by Persian goitered gazelle in steppes of central Iran. Basic and Applied Ecology 14:702-711. PDF