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Our Laboratory

The 22 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We maintain field stations near Emigrant and Cooke City and have office space in Bozeman, Montana.




Bob Crabtree — Founder & Chief Scientist

After completing his PhD at the University of Idaho studying coyote ecology, Bob launched a wild canine research program in Yellowstone just in time for the restoration of gray wolves. But over his 30 years working in the Greater Yellowstone, Bob’s research interests have sought a more holistic connection between nature, people, and technology. That’s led to what Bob calls “Adaptive Ecology”, studying not only how ecosystems adapt to changing conditions, but how the science of ecology must adapt to social and technological changes as well. That focus drives YERC’s mission today.


Melissa Todd — Office administrator

Melissa balances the budget, administers the finances, and keeps YERC's business operations running so the scientists can do their jobs. Juggling the complex needs of a non-profit, which always includes resolving the occasional minor emergency, is nothing new for Melissa. She previously worked for a travelling theater company and for Bozeman's Intermountain Opera. And having always been interested in water issues affecting the West—she majored in geography at Montana State University with a minor in water resources— YERC's Adaptive Ecology mission is a particularly good fit for our office administrator.


Patrick Cross — Research Director

Patrick first worked for YERC in 2008 as one of the last field techs on the 20-year Canid Ecology Project. That is when he found out about Bob's interest in Yellowstone's mountain fox population and YERC's work with graduate students to learn more about these animals. A few years later, Patrick became one of these graduate students, and after defending his thesis, started working full time for YERC. As YERC’s research director, he is able to pursue his professional interests, supporting conservation decision-making through solid science while sharing its stories with a broader audience for the benefit of wildlife and people alike.



Mikaela joined YERC as a field ecologist installing sensors and collecting data along the Upper Yellowstone River as part of the RiverNET project. Over the past 10+ years as a field biologist, she has worked on a large range of research projects in Alaska, Maine, Louisiana, Arizona and many places in between. She pursued her passion for birds by completing a master's thesis from the College of William & Mary studying the impacts of mercury on terrestrial songbirds and currently teaches Field Ornithology at Montana State University. Around Bozeman, she can be found regularly on skis, hikes, runs, canoes and bikes.




Steve Attell - Hopkins Marine Lab, Monterey, Stanford University, (Ret.)

Andy LaMora - Topcoder /Wipro. Global Director - Data, Analytics, & Artificial Intelligence.

Jeff Reed - Arrow Electronics. VP of Microsoft Global Alliance. Previously, CTO at Arrow’s Systems Integration division.

Krystyna Wolniakowski - Executive DIrector, Columbia Gorge Commission. Former Regional Director of Western Partnership Office of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

Carly Vynne - Principal and Lead Ecologist, Osprey Insights LLC. Strategic Partner, RESOLVE. Manager, Quick Response Fund for Nature.

David Gill - Director of Engineering, Boeing (Ret.)

Rick Wollum - Retail Manager, Angler’s West Fly Fishing Outfitters in Paradise Valley, Emigrant, MT. Fly-du-jour expert on the Yellowstone River.

Mike Sutton - Member Emeritus. Currently, Executive Director, Goldman Environmental Foundation. Previously, VP Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Robert (Bob) Crabtree - Ex Officio. Chief Scientist and Executive Director of YERC.




Shelley Alexander - University of Calgary, Alberta, CA

Tom Armstrong - Madison River Group

Patty Cramer - Cramer Wildlife

Justin Edge - Guide: fishing, hunting, photography

Camilla Fox - Project Coyote

Edward (Oz) Garton - University of Idaho

Meredith Hecker - University of Providence, Great Falls MT

Matt Holloran - Operational Conservation, LLC

Shengli Huang - US Forest Service

Subhash Lele - University of Alberta, Edmonton

Hank Loescher - NEON, systems ecology

Art McKee - University of Montana, (Ret.)

Paul Moorcroft - Harvard University

Chris Mowry - Berry College, Atlanta, GA

Jack Norland - North Dakota State University

John Pickering - University of Georgia

Christopher Potter - NASA-Ames Research Center

Kenneth Wilson - Colorado State University

Carly Vynne - YERC Board of Directors

Jeff Reed - YERC Board of Directors

Bob Crabtree - YERC Lab

Patrick Cross - YERC Lab

Roby Roberts - YERC Lab