Tali Caspi

Interests and Bio: Intraspecific trait variation has emerged as an important concept for understanding the adaptation of wildlife to urban environments. My research focuses on emerging patterns and underlying mechanisms of behavioral variation across the urban landscape to better understand the factors that allow animals to effectively respond to urbanization. Through my research, I hope to enhance understanding of fine-scale, within-city variation in animal behavior and apply this knowledge to facilitate better management of urban wildlife.

Prior to my graduate studies, I worked as a wildlife educator at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, which led me to think critically about the ecology of cities, human-wildlife interactions, and who has access to nature. Accordingly, I am interested in research that serves as a bridge between academia, government agencies, and the community and am committed to science outreach in cities that fosters connections between urban residents and nature.

Current Research: I am currently studying the nutritional ecology of urban coyotes in San Francisco with the aim of clarifying functional links and feedbacks among the diet, social structure, and physiology of urban carnivores. I am using diet metabarcoding and stable isotope techniques to identify patterns and drivers of dietary variation across the urban landscape. I am also exploring the influence of diet, relatedness, and shared social environments on urban coyote microbiomes to better understand the physiological effects of coyote consumption of human-provided foods.