University of Rhode Island College of Environment and Life Sciences

The College of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island strives for excellence in teaching, research, and service. The Wildlife Genetics and Ecology Laboratory (WGEL) is a conservation genetics, population genomics, and applied ecology laboratory in the Natural Resources Science Department at URI. The WGEL is funded by and works closely with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to help inform management decisions for wildlife. The lab uses genetic tools to support management decisions for captive-bred New England cottontails housed at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI, and Queens Zoo in Queens, NY. The WGEL also uses genetic tools to estimate the population size and gene flow of wild New England cottontail populations, and uses applied ecology techniques to study the diet, habitat, and movements of wild New England cottontails.