Katie Robertson

PhD, The Ohio State University
Photo of Katie Robertson

Katie Robertson, a former doctoral student in Dr. Stan Gehrt’s lab, graduated from The Ohio State University in December 2018 with a PhD in Environment and Natural Resources. She also holds a BS degree in Zoology with a minor in Biotechnology from North Carolina State University (2012). During her time as a graduate student, her research focused on urban coyote ecology within the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area. More specifically, she studied relationships between urbanization, coyote behavior, and chronic stress hormone production. 

She used flight initiation distance tests to assess how relatively bold or shy coyotes behaved when directly approached by people. Additionally, she used novel object tests in the field to observe how coyotes responded to unknown items (i.e., ring stacker toys and garden gnomes) that were introduced briefly into their known or suspected territories. Finally, she used enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISAs) to measure the concentrations of cortisol located in coyote hair samples collected from select study animals. Examining how coyotes are responding both behaviorally and physiologically to urbanization may allow us to better predict how coyote populations will shift and human-wildlife interactions will change in the face of increasing urban expansion.