Carlisle Segal

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Carlisle Segal
Carly Segal is one of Conservation Nation’s 2021 emerging conservationist grant winners. Carly spent her childhood in northern California exploring tidepools, streams, forests, and mountains where she gained an early love for the exploration and observation involved in answering ecological questions. For her undergraduate degree she made a large spatial jump to coastal Maine where she dove into deepening her understanding of the role of plants in an ecosystem. She has spent time in a variety of habitat types around the United States and the world, but has spent much of the last five years studying the ungulates, predators, and grasslands of Yellowstone National Park. Currently she is a graduate student at Montana State University where she is studying biodiversity related to the landscape occupation patterns of the Yellowstone bison herd. She hopes to continue studying ecological questions related to plant communities, interspecies interactions, and conservation.
Project Overview

Bison Grazing Practices Assessment

Yellowstone National Park, USA

North American grasslands are among the least protected ecosystems in the world and little research has focused on the complex faunal interactions that may exist from the historical abundance of bison grazing en masse across the landscape. Carly will carry out a multi-year study investigating how the American Bison may influence the faunal communities that rely on soil nutrients, plant phenology, and vegetation structure. She will focus on the arthropod, soil microbe, and plant communities at sites with different categories (low, medium, high) of bison grazing. Carly’s research will contribute to our understanding of the ecological role of this culturally important animal and a deeper understanding of grassland ecosystems. Yellowstone National Park managers have begun the process of developing a climate change mitigation plan for the next fifty years and the results of Carly’s research have the potential to directly influence some of the ways that the park is managed going forward.