Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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New Mexico People

Federal Staff

James Cain with desert bighorn sheep lamb

James Cain Assistant Unit Leader Tel: (575) 646 - 3382

I am originally from Tempe, Arizona. I received a B.S. from Colorado State University, an M.S. from California State University, Sacramento, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

Colleen fishing the Madison

Colleen Caldwell Unit Leader Website: Tel: (575) 646 - 8126

I received a B.S. in Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I joined the New Mexico Unit in 1994 and in 2006 stepped up to the plate to become Unit Leader.

University Staff

Ken Boykin

Kenneth Boykin Website: Tel: (575) 646 - 6303

I am an ecologist with the Center for Applied Spatial Ecology associated with the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (NMCFWRU) and the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology at New Mexico State University.

Alicia Montoya

Students and Post Docs

Benjamin Armstrong

Scott Boyle

Scott Boyle

Scott was born and raised in Colorado where he grew up camping, fishing, and hunting. These activities sparked his interest for a career and he went on to receive his B.S. degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a wildlife concentration from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His primary work experience has included working with several large mammals including moose, deer, and elk studying neonate and adult survival, habitat selection, and mortality. Along with his work on large mammals, he also worked with chukar partridge and assisted in several other carnivore and spatial use projects. Through this time he has developed a research interest in habitat selection, predator-prey interactions, cause-specific mortality, and population dynamics.

Zack Farley

Zack Farley

Originally from Chicago, I received my B.S. in Natural Resources from The University of Vermont. Since graduating, I have worked as a technician on multiple research projects primarily interested in carnivore ecology, predator-prey interactions and conservation. I am currently a M.S. student working in the Gila National Forest looking at the costs of reproduction for elk in relation to predator density. Outside of wildlife work, I enjoy rock climbing, mountaineering, hunting and traveling.

Lauren Flynn

Jay Gedir

Jay Gedir

I am from Canada with a B.Sc. from University of Guelph (Ontario), M.Sc. from University of Reading (UK), and Ph.D. from University of Alberta. Areas of interest include large mammal ecology and management, vertebrate population dynamics, reintroduction and conservation ecology, and Bayesian methods.

Brock Huntsman

Talesha Karish

Talesha Karish

Talesha grew up running around the woods of Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley College. Afterwards, she traveled the country working on various projects as a field technician. Currently, she is studying feral burros on the Fort Irwin National Training Center.

Alex Kunkel

Andy Lawrence 2

Andrew Lawrence

Andy's interest in wildlife biology stems from his formative years spent on a farm in northern Illinois. His exposure to the outdoors through hunting, fishing, and exploring the surrounding land instilled a deep curiosity in the ecological processes that influence a species' success or decline. As an undergraduate at North Carolina State University, Andy worked on several state, federal, and university projects that sought to bridge the gap between human development and wildlife conservation. After graduating in 2010, he worked as a avian research technician for the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Andy joined the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at NMSU in 2012 to research Lesser Prairie-chicken ecology and pursue his PhD.

Andrew Meyers

Andrew Meyers

I'm originally from the Columbia River Gorge in Washington State. I earned my BS at the University of Idaho and my MS from New Mexico State University. In my free time I enjoy hunting, hiking, playing music, and snowsports.

Hunter Prude

Hunter Prude

I was raised on a ranch in the Davis Mountains of west Texas. I received a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Sul Ross State University in 2011. I began working for the Armendaris Ranch, Turner Enterprises Inc. managing the desert bighorn sheep and puma populations in the Fra Christobal Mountains in 2012. I am interested in the development of non-lethal methods to prevent or reduce puma predation on desert bighorn sheep. The coalition research project that I am working on is studying the effects of anthropogenic water sources on predators and prey in desert environments.

Caitlin Ruhl

Caitlin Ruhl

Caitlin received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has gained diverse research and management experience in fisheries and wildlife while working in Yellowstone National Park and New Mexico. However, her primary interest is in large mammal ecology. She currently works as a bighorn sheep biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Caitlin will focus her research on adapting a hybrid sightability model for desert bighorn aerial surveys. She loves all outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, and sports.

Sharon Smythe

Sharon Smythe

After growing up in Guatemala City, Guatemala and northeastern Tennessee, I received my B.S. in Biology from Bryan College in Tennessee and completed an M.S. in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University investigating the nutritional carrying capacity of moose on the Copper River Delta of southcentral Alaska. I am now studying the responses of elk to forest restoration in the Jemez Mountains of northcentral New Mexico as part of my Ph.D. through Texas Tech University.

Cara Thompson

Cara Thompson

I was born and raised outside of Denver, Colorado. In 2014 I received a B.S. from Colorado State University and have since worked for several state and federal management agencies, as well as non-governmental research organizations. I have spent most of my career working with Western wildlife and ecosystems but also have worked on projects internationally and in southern Missouri. My research at NMSU evaluates the influence Mexican wolf predation risk has on elk habitat selection while my broad research interests include wildlife-habitat interactions, trophic ecology, and conservation ecology/management.

Tyler Wallin

Tyler is pursuing his passion for native trout conservation. After earning his B.A. in Biology at McKendree University in Southern Illinois, Tyler worked for the summer on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. Tyler is currently working on establishing a stream temperature and intermittency monitoring network in the Gila National Forest and hopes to expand his research to better aide in the determination and protection of critical habitat for Gila trout.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 9

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 29

Scientific Publications: 47

Presentations: 129


Contact Us

New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003 Phone: (575) 646 - 6053 Fax: (575) 646 - 1281 Our University Web Site

Unit Leader

Colleen Caldwell
Colleen fishing the Madison

I received a B.S. in Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I joined the New Mexico Unit in 1994 and in 2006 stepped up to the plate to become Unit Leader.


New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey