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Quresh Latif Curriculum Vitae

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Quresh Latif

Curriculum Vitae
Quresh S. Latif
Rocky Mountain Research Station

U.S. Forest Service

1648 S. 7th Avenue

Bozeman, MT 59715


  1. Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from the University of California, Riverside.

  1. B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of California, Davis.


2011 – Present Post-Doctoral Research Ecologist, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service.

2010 – 2011 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside.

  • Application of ecological models, particularly population, habitat, and species distribution models, to inform conservation and management of sensitive species

  • Using simulation to improve ecological inference from data analysis

  • Population and community response to natural and anthropogenic disturbance and environmental change

  • Causes and consequences of habitat selection by animals


Latif, Q. S., J. S. Sanderlin, V. A. Saab, W. M. Block and J. G. Dudley. In Review. Avian community changes associated with wildfire at two dry forest locations of the western United States. Ecosphere.
Latif, Q. S., V. A. Saab, K. Mellen-McLean and J. G. Dudley. 2015. Evaluating Habitat Suitability Models for Nesting White-headed Woodpeckers in Unburned Forest. Journal of Wildlife Management. 79:263-273
Saab, V. A., Q. S. Latif, M. M. Rowland, T. N. Johnson, A. D. Chalfoun, S. W. Buskirk, J. E. Heyward, and M. A. Dresser. 2014. Ecological consequences of mountain pine beetle outbreaks for wildlife in western North American forests. Forest Science. 60: 539-559.
Hulton VanTassel, H. L., A. M. Hansen, C. W. Barrows, Q. Latif, M. W. Simon, and K. E. Anderson. 2014. Declines in a ground-dwelling arthropod community during an invasion by Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii) in aeolian sand habitats. Biological Invasions. 16: 1675-1687.
Latif, Q. S., V. A. Saab, J. G. Dudley, and J. P. Hollenbeck. 2013. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist. Ecology and Evolution 3: 4348-4364.
Latif, Q. S., S. K. Heath, J. T. Rotenberry. 2012. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird. Ecology and Evolution 2: 3079-3097.
Latif, Q. S., S. K. Heath, G. Ballard. 2012. The nest predator assemblage for songbirds in Mono Lake basin riparian habitats. Western North American Naturalist 72: 276-287.
Latif, Q. S., S. K. Heath, J. T. Rotenberry. 2012. How avian nest site selection responds to predation risk: testing an “adaptive peak hypothesis”. Journal of Animal Ecology 81: 127-138.
Latif, Q. S., K. D. Fleming, C. Barrows, J. T. Rotenberry. 2012. Modeling seasonal detection patterns for burrowing owl surveys. Wildlife Society Bulletin 36: 155-160.
Latif, Q. S., S. K. Heath, J. T. Rotenberry. 2011. An “ecological trap” for Yellow Warbler nest microhabitat selection. Oikos 120: 1139-1150.
Latif, Q. S., J. L. Grenier, S. K. Heath, G. Ballard, and M. Hauber. 2006. First evidence of conspecific brood parasitism in song sparrows with comments on methods sufficient to document this behavior. Condor 108: 452-458.
Heath, S.K., C. McCreedy, and Q. S. Latif. 2006. Recovering mixed willow black cottonwood riparian. Bird Populations 7:97-98.

Heath, S. K., C. McCreedy, Q. S. Latif, and C. Tonra. 2014. Responses of riparian birds to (mostly) passive restoration of Mono Lake tributaries. American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society, and Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, Estes Park, CO.

Latif, Q.S., J. S. Sanderlin, V. A. Saab, W. M. Block, and J. G. Dudley. 2014. Avian community responses to burn severity at locations with historically different fire regimes. Ecological Society of America 2014 Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA.
Latif, Q.S., V. A. Saab, and J. G. Dudley. 2014. Avian community changes in relation to different forest fire conditions in central Idaho. Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society 2014 Annual Conference, Bozeman, MT.
Latif, Q.S., V. A. Saab, J. G. Dudley, K. Mellen-McLean. 2013. Monitoring White-headed Woodpeckers in the Pacific Northwest: research approaches and recent results. Oregon and Washington Chapters of The Wildlife Society 2013 Annual Meeting, Stevenson, WA.
Latif, Q. S., V. A. Saab, J. G. Dudley. 2012. Ensemble habitat suitability modeling to guide conservation of black-backed woodpeckers. The Wildlife Society Meeting, Portland, OR; Montana Chapter meeting of the Wildlife Society, Whitefish, MT.
Saab, V. A., K. Mellen-Mclean, Latif, Q. S., J. G. Dudley, A. Egnew. 2012. Occupancy and habitat suitability of breeding white-headed woodpeckers in the Pacific Northwest. The Wildlife Society Meeting, Portland, OR.
Latif, Q. S., V. A. Saab, K. Podruzny, J. P. Hollenbeck, J. G. Dudley. 2011. Cross-site validation of habitat suitability models for Black-backed Woodpecker. The Society for Conservation Biology Meeting, Missoula, MT.
Latif, Q. S., K. D. Fleming, C. Barrows, J. T. Rotenberry. 2010. Effects of survey method and timing on detecting Burrowing Owls. Western Field Ornithologists Meeting, Palm Desert, CA. and poster at The Western Section of the Wildlife Society Meeting, Riverside, CA.
Latif, Q. S., S.K. Heath, J.T. Rotenberry. 2010. The role of parents in shaping avian nest predation risk. AOU/ COS Joint Meeting (Cooper Ornithological Society and the American Ornithological Society), San Diego, CA.
Latif, Q. S., S.K. Heath, J.T. Rotenberry. 2009. Nest site selection and predation risk: testing an “adaptive peak” hypothesis. ESA Annual Meeting (Ecological Society of America), Albuquerque, NM; COS Meeting (Cooper Ornithological Society), Tucson, AZ.
Latif, Q. S. 2009. How predation influences avian nest habitat selection. Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, Lee Vining, CA.
Latif, Q. S., S.K. Heath. 2008. Unexpected consequences of nest habitat preference for Yellow Warblers. AOU/ COS Joint Meeting (Cooper Ornithological Society and the American Ornithological Society), Portland, OR.

2009 Student Travel Award for the ESA annual meeting

2009 Student Travel Award for the AOU/COS joint meeting

2008 Distinguished Fellowship in Biology (UCR Biology Department)

2007 Mono Basin Bird Chautaqua Grant (Mono Lake Committee)

2007 Dissertation Research Grant (UC Riverside)

2002 Partners in Flight grant for nest-monitoring video camera systems

2002 Advanced Energy Group equipment grant for powering video surveillance equipment for nest predator identification study


2011 – present Postdoctoral work as a Research Ecologist for the Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service: Develop species distribution models and occupancy models for forest woodpeckers and bird communities. I work with Maxent, Mahalanobis, weighted logistic regression, and occupancy models to analyze habitat relationships and species distributions. I use both Bayesian and frequentist frameworks for fitting these models. Using these models, I examine species and community relationships with wildfire, prescribed fire, mountain pine beetle outbreaks, and silviculture prescriptions. In the course of this work, I have developed familiarity and expertise with statistical analysis in R, development of Bayesian models using BUGS language, and projection of model outputs using GIS software. I advise the design and implementation of long-term effectiveness monitoring studies to examine wildlife (specifically white-headed woodpecker) responses to forest management treatments. I provide guidance, advice, feedback, and training in implementation of analytic techniques to graduate students. I have also designed and am populating relational databases to organize and store data from various components of two different research programs. These databases are designed to store data collected over decades of research and monitoring for multiple component projects with various objectives.

2009 – 2011 Postdoctoral research in Coachella Valley, CA: Conducted surveys of animal and plant species, including endangered species, in aeolian sand habitats for population and community monitoring under the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. Survey techniques employed include surveying vertebrates by censusing their tracks, pitfall trapping for sampling arthropods, quadrat sampling for plant surveys, and measurement of sand compaction using a sand penetrometer. I also developed and populated a database to store the data from these surveys and developed analytic approaches to answer research questions of concern for adaptive management of protected species. Data analyses were carried out using various software programs: R, ArcGIS, Presence, and MaxEnt.
2001 – 2008 Nest-monitoring in the Mono Basin: In collaboration with PRBO Conservation Science, I monitored riparian songbird nests in the Mono Basin for seven seasons. These data formed the basis of my Ph.D. dissertation, which contributed to PRBO’s efforts to provide ecologically meaningful management recommendations to agencies responsible for this system. Analysis consisted of applying generalized linear models (logistic exposure) and other statistical models to nest monitoring and habitat data in SAS.
2008 GIS analysis of conservation impacts of prospective highway development: Used GIS layers containing habitat suitability indices generated from niche modeling to assess the potential impacts of various proposed alternative routes for the Mid-County Highway Project in Riverside County on species included in the local multi-species habitat conservation plan (MSHCP).
2006 Bird surveys in Western Riverside County: Conducted point counts of coastal sage scrub and chaparral birds in Western Riverside County for the Center for Conservation Biology and advisor, John Rotenberry.
2001 Bird banding and cassowary surveys in Papua New Guinea: conducted surveys for Dwarf Cassowary (Casuarius bennetti) and mist-netted and banded other tropical forest birds in the highlands of Papua New Guinea as a volunteer for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
2000 Bird banding at Long Point Bird Observatory: three months of mist-netting and banding during fall migration.
2000 Demographic study of Lesser Prairie Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctu): Conducted trapping, radio-telemetry, nest-monitoring, and habitat assessments as a field technician with the Sutton Avian Research Center as part of a study of Lesser Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctu) populations in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

2013 Webinar: Python for Geoprocessing offered by the Remote Sensing Application Center (RSAC), U.S. Forest Service.

2012 Spatial Statistics in R. Workshop organized by Robin Russell at the TWS meeting in Portland, OR.
2011 Estimating the geographic distribution of a species using presence-only records. Webinar presented by Robert M. Dorazio, Statistician, USGS, Southeast Ecological Science Center.
2010 Occupancy modeling workshop – 3.5 day workshop organized by Darryl Mackenzie, USGS Science Center, Fort Collins, CO.
2009 A new approach to population models: sensitivity analysis via matrix calculus. Organized by H. Caswell at the ESA meeting, Albuquerque, NM.


2003-09 Teaching Assistant: 9 quarters general biology labs, including:

3 quarters “Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology” for biology majors

3 quarters “Introduction to Evolution and Ecology” for biology majors

1 quarter “Cellular Basis of Life” for non-biology majors

2 quarters “Organisms in their Environment” for non-biology majors

1995-98 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: 3 quarters ornithology lab
PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES: Ecological Society of America, Cooper Ornithological Society, The Wildlife Society

Dr. Victoria Saab

Research Wildlife Biologist

Rocky Mountain Research Station

1648 South 7th Ave., MSU Campus

Bozeman, MT 59717


Phone: (406)994-5032

Dr. Cameron Barrows

Research Ecologist, Center for Conservation Biology, U.C. Riverside

Palm Desert Campus

75-080 Frank Sinatra Dr.

Palm Desert, CA 92211


Phone: (951) 837-0934
Dr. John Rotenberry

Professor of Biology, U.C. Riverside

900 University Ave.

Riverside, CA 92521


Phone: (951)787-3953

Sacha K. Heath

Research Associate

Point Blue Conservation Science

3820 Cypress Hill Drive #11

Petaluma, CA 94954


Phone: (760)223-6895

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