Curriculum Vitae

Bleicher CV March 2020 

SONNY S. BLEICHER, PH.D.

EVOLUTIONARY WILDLIFE ECOLOGIST

CONTACT INFORMATION

Personal Email: bleicher.s.s@gmail.com; sbleiche@gmu.edu; sbleicher@wlu.edu

Mobile Tel: +1 (415) 670-0595

 

Address: 544 Zollmans Mill Rd., Lexington, VA, USA, 24450

 

RÉSUMÉ

Publications

Published: 13                            H-index: 6

In review/preparation:  5            Citations 107

I-Index: 3                                  RG Score: 22.58

 

Experience, Fellowships and Affiliations

2019-20             Washington and Lee University, Biology, Visiting Assistant Professor

2018-21             George Mason University, Environmental Science and Policy Affiliate

2018                 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

2018                 University of Jyvaskyla, Behavioral Ecology Lab

2015-18             University of Arizona, Ike Russell Fellow, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2015                 University of Sydney, Desert Biodiversity Lab.

2014                 University of Illinois at Chicago, Biological Sciences

 

Education                   

PhD      Biology                         2014                 University of Illinois at Chicago

MSc     Desert Ecology             2012                 Ben Gurion University of the Negev

BSc      Environmental Science  2009                 Rochester Institute of Technology

 

Teaching Experience

Ecology

Urban Ecology

Population and Community Biology

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Introductory Environmental Science/ Studies

Water policy, politics and conflict

 

Languages (and Nationalities)

English (USA), French (France), Hebrew (Israel)

 

EDUCATION

Date Degree Institution Field Subtopic Thesis Title

 

July 2014 Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago Biological Science Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology Divergent Behaviour Amid Convergent Evolution: Common Garden Experiments with Desert Rodents and Vipers
May 2012 M.Sc. Ben Gurion University of The Negev Desert Studies Dryland Ecology/ Community and Population Ecology Prey Response to Predator Scent Cues; A Manipulative Experimental Series of a Changing Climate
February 2009 B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology Environmental Science Environmental Health Assessment and Biological Indicators of Environmental Degradation Non-Point Source Pollutants found in the tributaries of Irondequoit Creek Watershed within the Town of Penfield

­­­­­­­­­­­­

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Date Title Institution Location Responsibilities
2019 -2020 Visiting Assistant Professor Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA, USA Teach ecology, urban ecology, environmental studies electives and water policy and politics. Mentor undergraduate research students.
2018 – 2021

 

 

 

Affiliate Faculty George Mason University Fairfax, VA, USA Provide administrative services and presentations
2018 Visiting Research Associate/ Affiliate University of Jyvaskyla Konnevesi Research Station, Konnevesi, Finland Research Project: The importance of information, how a predator cue is affected by environmental factors
2015-2018 Ike Russell Postdoctoral Fellow University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona, USA Research Focus: Human-wildlife Interactions in Urban and Suburban Environments
 
2015-2016 Research and Development Manager Felidae Conservation Fund Mill Valley, California, USA Manage Education and Outreach Programs, PI for Mountain Lion Research Programs, Fundraising and Grant-writing.
2015 Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Sydney Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia Research Projects: (1) Response of Dasyurid Carnivorous Marsupials to a Shelter Augmentation Management Regime; and (2) Foraging Dynamics of Dunnarts During a Population Bust
2014 Teaching Postdoctoral Researcher University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA Teach Ecology Lab (BIOS331);

 

Research: Bridging community ecology and Neurobiology and evolutionary dynamics in animal behavior.

2011-2014 Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant Teaching: ecology (BIOS331), comparative vertebrate anatomy and physiology (BIOS227), biology of populations and communities (BIOS101).

 

Research project: Intercontinental-wide consequences of compromise-breaking adaptations: the case of desert rodents and vipers.

2012-2013 Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, Illinois, USA Teach Introduction to Environmental Science Elective (BIO127)
2009-2012 Graduate Fellow Ben Gurion University of the Negev Bluestein Institutes for Desert Research, Albert Katz School of Desert Studies, Midreshet Ben Gurion, Sde Boker, Israel Research on climate change on consequences on wildlife conservation in arid zones.
2008 Research Team Lead Town of Penfield Penfield, New York, USA Capstone (honors) project. Project title: Non-Point Source Pollutants found in the tributaries of Irondequoit Creek Watershed within the Town of Penfield
2007,2009 REU Research Fellow Harvard University Harvard Forest, Petersham, Massachusetts, USA Research project: response of ant assemblages to grazing and logging along a rainfall gradient in mesic scrublands
2006-2009 bird bander (ringer) in training Braddock Bay Bird Observatory Rochester, New York, USA Research Project: passerine habitat-use during migration within reconstructed wetlands.
2005-2009 Undergraduate Research Fellow Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York, USA Research Project: River otter post-reintroduction monitoring using scat genetics, diet analysis and GIS.
2008-2009 Teaching Assistant Teach: Conservation Biology and Ecology Labs
2006 Seasonal Interpretation Ranger US National Park Service Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake, California, USA Duties: lead lava-tube cave-tours and guided naturalist walks.

 

2005 Camp Councilor Young Judea Tel Yehuda Summer Camp, New York, USA Provide social and educational activities to 16 year-old summer campers.
2003-2005 Informal Education Specialist Shlomit National Service Agency (1) TALI Education Fund, Jerusalem, Israel. (2) Yavne’el Community Center, Yavne’el, Israel (1) Provide Jewish education in informal activities from a progressive and pluralistic approach to children in the TALI schools in grades 2-9. (2) Teach Hebrew literacy to illiterate refugee women from North Africa and the Middle East
Not Supported by Payroll

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Date 

(* upcoming)

Role Course

(with lab)

Number of Classes (sessions) Mean number of students
2019* Assistant Professor Environmental Studies From Data to Policy 2 18
2019* Assistant Professor Water, policies and politics 1 12
2019* Assistant Professor Urban Ecology 1 12
2013-2014, 2008, 2019 Assistant Professor Ecology (331) 7 27
2011-2012 Teaching Assistant in-charge of labs and discussions Population and Community Biology (101) 6 20
2013 Teaching Assistant in-charge of labs Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (227) 1 20
2012-2013 Professor in Charge Introductory Environmental Science Elective (127) 1 30
2009 Teaching Assistant Conservation Biology (488) 1 30

MENTORSHIP

Year Institution Project-type My Role Number of Students
2019- George Mason University Graduate Project Committee Member 1
2018-19 University of Jyväskylä Graduate Research –  Lab Focus Advising (as postdoc) 1
2015 University of Sydney Graduate Research –  Field Focus Advising (as postdoc) 2
2012-14 University of Illinois Undergraduate Independent Research Project Mentor 8

PEDAGOGIC WORKSHOPS (Academic)

Year Workshop Name
2020 Pedagogy and Purell: Alternatives for Assignments, Activities, and                                   Assessments Brown Bag – Technology for Virtual Instruction
2020 Virtual Instruction: Best Practices & Creative Ideas
2020 Options for Virtual Labs in Science and Art
2020 Remote Teaching: Teleconferencing and Methods of Remote Pedagogy
2020 Using Canvas for Online and Remote Teaching
2019 Mastery- Based Testing; Introduction, Implementation and Evidence
2019 Community Based Learning Course Development
2019 Values Strengths and Interests; Assessment Tools That Can Support Personal and Professional Growth
2019 Facilitating Discussion of Controversial Political Issues in the College Classroom
2019 Community Based Learning Pedagogy in Practice: lesson learned and how to get involved.
2019 Robert’s Rule; How to Navigate Faculty Meetings
2019 Active Learning in the Classroom; Lessons Learned
2019 Teaching Career Readiness; Notes from a Pilot Careers Class
2019 Navigating Registrar Systems; as guide for academic advising
2019 The 21st Centenary Library
2019 Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education
2019 Leveraging Technology to Cultivate and Inclusive Classroom
2019 Applied Inclusive Pedagogy; a Practical Guide
2019 Disability, Diversity and Inclusivity; Pedagogy in Higher Education (and Universal Design)
2019 Lecture Capture with YuJa
2019 Approving Courses for Study Abroad and International Travel Courses
2019 Title IX and the Classroom
2019 Think Globally, Teach Locally – Discovering Teaching in Global Discoveries
2013-14 Foundation of Tertiary Pedagogy (graduate course)

 

 

GRANTS, AWARDS and FELLOWSHIPS

Year Award Name Granting Organization Award Type
2018 Science and Technology Policy Fellowship American Association for Advancement of Science Fellowship
2016 Ike Russel Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Arizona Fellowship (Includes Research Funds)
2015* Wells Fargo National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Wells Fargo NGO Funding and Research Project – Bay Area Puma Project
2016* Regina Bauer Foundation Grant Regina Bauer Small NGO support grant
2016* NGO Education Grant Frankenburg Foundation Small NGO support grant
2016* Wildlife Conservation Grant Disney Foundation NGO Funding and Research Project – Bay Area Puma Project
2016* Conservation Education Grant Summerlee Foundation Small NGO support grant
2016* Wells Fargo Small Family Foundations Grants (64 in total) Mix of family foundations 2-20,000$ grants for NGO support both research and education
2013 Bodmer International Research and Travel Award University of Illinois Travel Award and Research Support
2013 Grants In-Aid American Society of Mammologists Small Research Grant
2012 Bodmer International Research and Travel Award University of Illinois Travel Award and Research Support
2009 REU Scholarship Award US National Science Foundation + Harvard University Fellowship and Research Support
2008 Research Scholars Award Rochester Institute of Technology Fellowship and Research Support
2007 REU Scholarship Award US National Science Foundation + Harvard University Fellowship and Research Support
*Earned as fundraising team for the Felidae Conservation Fund

 

ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS  

  • American Association for Advancement of Science
  • MacArthur Academy for Evolutionary Ecology
  • American Association of Mammalogists
  • International Society for Behavioral Ecology
  • Israeli Zoological Society
  • Society for Conservation Biology

 

LANGUAGES AND NATIONALITIES

  Nationality Spoken Read Written
English USA Native Speaker Native Speaker Native Speaker
French France Native Speaker Proficient Intermediate
Hebrew Israel Native Speaker Native Speaker Native Speaker

 

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Bleicher, S. S., B. P. Kotler, and J. S. Brown. 2019. Comparing Plasticity of Response to Perceived Risk in the Textbook Example of Convergent Evolution of Desert Rodents and Their Predators; a Manipulative Study Employing the Landscape of Fear. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 13:1–12. (impact factor 3.38)
  2. Bleicher, S. S., Ylonen, T. Käpylä, and M. Haapakoski. 2018. Olfactory cues and the value of Information: voles interpret cues based on recent predator encounters. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72:187–199. (impact factor 2.382)
  3. Bleicher, S. S., and M. L. Rosenzweig. 2018. Too much of a good thing? A landscape-of-fear analysis for collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) reveals hikers act as a greater deterrent than thorny or bitter food. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:317–324. (impact factor 1.52)
  4. Bleicher, S. S., P. Kotler, O. Shalev, A. Dixon, K. Embar, and J. S. Brown. 2018. Divergent behavior amid convergent evolution: A case of four desert rodents learning to respond to known and novel vipers. PLoS ONE 13:1–17. (impact factor 2.766)
  5. Embar, K., B. P. Kotler, S. Bleicher, and J. S. Brown. 2018. Pit fights: predators in evolutionarily independent communities. Journal of Mammalogy 1–25. (impact factor 2.139)
  6. Bleicher, S. S. The landscape of fear conceptual framework: Definition and review of current applications and misuses. PeerJ 1:1–14. (impact factor 2.118)
  7. Bleicher, S. S., and C. R. Dickman. 2016. Bust economics: Foragers choose high quality habitats in lean times. PeerJ 2016. (impact factor 2.118)
  8. Bleicher, S. S., J. S. Brown, K. Embar, and B.P. Kotler. 2016. Novel predator recognition by Allenby’s gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi): do gerbils learn to respond to a snake that can “see” in the dark? Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution 62:178–185. (impact factor 0.69)
  9. Kotler, B. P., J. S. Brown, S. Bleicher, and K. Embar. 2016. Intercontinental-wide consequences of compromise-breaking adaptations: the case of desert rodents. Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution 62:186–195. (impact factor 0.69)
  10. Bleicher S.S., Haapakoski M., Morin D., Kaapala T., and and Ylonen, H. 2019.Balancing food, activity and the dangers of sunlit nights. Behavioral Ecology and Socio Biology. 73: 7. 95-103 (impact factor 2.382)
  11. Bleicher, S. S., and C. R. Dickman. 2020. On the landscape of fear: shelters affect foraging by dunnarts (Marsupiala, Sminthopsis spp.) in sandridge desert environment. J. Mamm. 101:1, 281-290. (impact factor 2.139)
  12. Bleicher S.S., Brown J.S., C.J. Downs, Kotler B.P. 2019. Playing to their evolutionary strengths; heteromyid rodents provide opposite snake evasion strategies in the face of known and novel snakes. Journal of Arid Environments. 173. 1-10 (Impact factor 1.83)
  13. Bleicher S.S., Brown J.S., C.J. Downs, and Kotler B.P.,Intercontinental Test of Constraint-Breaking Adaptations; Testing Behavioural Plasticity in the Face of a Predator with Novel Hunting Strategies. (J. Animal Ecology- Production- Jan 2020, Impact factor 4.46)

IN REVIEW

  1. Bleicher S.S., Embar K., and Kotler P.B. Ninja Owl; Risk perception outweighs information on predator lethality. (Behavioral Processes- Minor Revision March 2020)

IN-PREPARATION (sample)

  1. Bleicher S.S. and Kabbani N. Game on Game Off: bridging ecological and neurological approaches to fear (Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience)
  2. Bleicher S.S., Eichenwald A., Reinhardt S. and Laundre J. The landscape of fear future outlook (Trends in Ecology and Evolution).
  3. Bleicher S. Revisiting Sympatric Speciation – A Case for the Landscape of Fear (special issue- Diversity)
  4. Bleicher S. – Anthropogenic Landscapes, Landscapes of Fear and Speciation on the Adaptive landscape.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Bleicher S.S. 2014, Divergent behaviour amid convergent evolution; Common-garden experiments with desert rodents and vipers, PhD Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bleicher S.S., 2012, Heat and Humidity Alter Predation Cues in Gerbillus andersoni allebyi. MS Thesis. Ben Gurion University of the Negev

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS and SYMPOSIA (subset)

  1. Oikos 2020 Ecology in the Anthropocene – Anthropogenic Landscapes, Landscapes of Fear and Speciation on the Adaptive landscape. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Washington and Lee University Biological Symposium – Evolutionary Ecology and Behavioral Optimization. Lexington, VA, USA
  3. MacArthur Academy for Evolutionary Ecology – Assessing Risk in the Environment; an evolution of interacting methods to address predation risk. Logan, Utah, USA

2019 American Mammalogical Congress – Risk, Energy and Cognition; Addressing the game- theoretic challenges of predation cues.  Washington, District of Colombia, USA

  1. Neurobiology Symposium. Ecological Fear- and why Neuroscientists should care about it. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  2. Environmental Science and Policy Symposium. Landscapes of Fear: incorporating anti-predator behaviors in evolutionary theory and conservation. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  3. Biological Science Symposium. Landscapes of Fear: incorporating anti-predator behaviors in evolutionary theory and conservation. University of Jyvaskyla. Jyvaskyla, Finland.
  4. Gordon Research Conference on Predator Prey Interactions— Section Leader: Macroevolutionary Patterns in Predator-Prey Interactions. Ventura, CA, USA.
  5. Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium – Landscapes of fear: foraging, fear and conservation. University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
  6. International Mammalogical Congress (IMC) 12—Game-on Game-Off: Bridging Ecological and Neurological Pathways to Fear. Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
  7. International Mammalogical Congress (IMC) 12— Bringing the landscape of fear back to conservation, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
  8. Natural Resource Department Symposium— Bringing the Fit of Form and Function to Applied Ecology. University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
  9. Rosenzweig Festschrift— Conflicts of recreation and conservation, the case of Javelinas on Tumamoc Hill. Tucson, AZ, USA.
  10. Tumamoc Hill Visiting Scholars Symposium – The study of fear and conservation efforts: applying landscapes of fear to human-wildlife interactions in examples from the Australian sand crest desert and Tumamoc Hill, Arizona. Tumamoc People and Habitats, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
  11. Biology Symposium – Divergent Behavior amid Convergent Evolution. University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  12. Dissertation Seminar EEB Symposium– Divergent Behavior amid Convergent Evolution: common garden experiments with desert rodents and vipers. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  13. International Mammalogical Congress (IMC) 11 — Landscapes of Fear;

Spatial Effects of Predator Facilitation on Convergent Rodents. Belfast, United Kingdom.

  1. International Mammalogical Congress (IMC) 11 —Macroevolution Meets Microecology: Intercontinental wide consequences of compromise-breaking adaptations. Belfast, United Kingdom.
  2. International Mammalogical Congress (IMC) 11 —Evolutionarily convergent yet behaviorally divergent: cross-continental predator-prey cross exposure. Belfast, United Kingdom.
  3. European Society for Evolutionary Biology Congress — Do prey respond appropriately to evolutionarily novel predators? Lisbon, Portugal
  4. European Society for Evolutionary Biology Congress — Evolutionarily Convergent Rodents do not converge on predator evasion strategy. Lisbon, Portugal
  5. Biology Symposium – Using game theory to assess the convergence of communities. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA.
  6. Albert Katz School of Desert Studies Dissertation Defense – Prey Response to Predator Scent Cues; A Manipulative Experimental Series of a Changing Climate. Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker, Israel.
  7. Behavior 2011 – Joint meeting of the Animal Behaviour Society & the International Ethological Conference – Heat and humidity perceived risk in the face of climate change. Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
  8. What Makes Good Science? Conference organizing team. NATO. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Sde Boker, Israel
  9. Drylands Deserts and Desertification. Conference organizing team. NATO. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Sde Boker, Israel  
  10. Ecological Society of America – Similar effects on myrmecological assemblages based on grazing and logging along a rainfall gradient in Israel. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
  11. Harvard Forest Summer Research Symposium – Similar effects on myrmecological assemblages based on grazing and logging along a rainfall gradient. Petersham, Massachusetts, USA.
  12. Biology Summer Research Symposium – Impacts of biochar as insect repellent. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA.
  13. Ecological Society of AmericaEffects of grazing and removal of woody species on ant diversity. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  14. Harvard Forest Summer Research Symposium Effects of grazing and removal of woody species on ant diversity. Petersham, Massachusetts, USA.

REVIEWER DUTIES

 

  • Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • Zoology and Ecology (Francis and Tailor)
  • Animal Behavior
  • Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
  • Functional Ecology
  • Ecology Letters
  • Biology Letters
  • The Open Ecology Journal
  • PLOS ONE
  • Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Oikos
  • Conservation and Biogeography
  • Animal Welfare

 

 

SKILLS

Pedagogy Project Management Software
·         Curriculum Design

·         Applications of pedagogic tools to course aims and audience (Bloom’s taxonomy)

·         Test Writing and Student Evaluations

·         Discussion leading

·         Lab and field course management

·         Teaching in formal and in-formal styles to audiences form kindergarten age to golden ages.

·         Student mentoring and guidance (undergraduate and graduate)

·         Virtual Instruction/ Remote/ Online Pedagogy

·         Proposal writing

·         HR. Recruiting and interviewing

·         Schedule management

·         Interdisciplinary report authoring

·         Stakeholder management and recruiting.

·         Public speaking

·         Representation on interdisciplinary committees

·         Interagency communication

·         Permit acquisition

·         Informational material design and authoring

·         Presentations to, and communications with, NGOs board of trusties

·         Volunteer training recruiting and management

 

·         Microsoft Suite

·         Adobe Suite/ Cloud

·         Systat

·         Statistica

·         R

·         ArcGIS

·         IDRISI

·         JMP

·         PAST

·         EstimateS

·         Mendeley

·         EndNote

·         Database Management (SQL, Access)

 

Field Skills Fundraising Miscellaneous
·         Wildlife surveys (mammals, birds, herps, invertebrates)

·         Vegetation and ground cover surveys

·         Ground and surface water chemistry sampling and kit testing

·         Wildlife immobilization

·         Animal husbandry

·         Microcosm experiments

·         GIS, Radio, and RFID Tracking

·         GPS

·         CPR, first-aid

·         Small and large grant proposal writing

·         Tabling and community outreach

·         Public speaking

·         Networking at local, national and international levels

·         Meta-analysis

·         Ethics based experimentation training

·         International field travel logistics

·         Science and education policy advocacy

 

 

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