Support for Student Research

Graduate students A. Salmanova and A. Rybin
collect data from a immobilized tiger. Photo WCS.

WCS has sponsored over 20 undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs over the past 5 years. Our goal is not to produce large numbers of post-grads, but instead to invest in top students who will make substantial contributions in the future. We have been successful in forging long-term working relationships with young biologists, collaborating with them first as graduate students and later as full colleagues.

Some of the "graduates" of our program now have high-level positions at the Pacific Institute of Geography, the Institute of Biology and Soils, the Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik, and the Land of the Leopard National Park.

Some of the graduate student research we are supporting today includes:

  • Prey requirements of Amur tigers by Yuri Petrunenko (advised by I. Seryodkin). 
  • Camera trapping of Far Eastern leopards by Alexander Rybin. Alexander also works full time as field crew leader for WCS’s leopard research project in southwest Primorskii Krai.
  • Musk deer habitat use by Daria Maksimova (advised by I. Seryodkin).


Sikhote-Alin Research Center

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The Sikhote-Alin Research Center provides
housing and office facilities for graduate students.
Photo by Dale Miquelle, WCS.

The Sikhote-Alin Research Center (SARC) in Ternei is a central component of WCS Russia’s efforts to support the next generation of Russian wildlife biologists and conservationists. This small research facility is designed to support young ecologists, biologists, and conservationists from Russia, the United States, and other countries; and to facilitate development of collaborative relationships between scientists from Russia and abroad. SARC provides high-quality services for graduate students, who have the opportunity to conduct field research in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, home to some of the only remaining primary forests in Northeast Asia, while working under the supervision of WCS scientific staff and their own advisors.

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A human-tiger conflict workshop at 
Sikhote-Alin Research Center in autumn 2012
Photo by J. Slaght, WCS.
SARC also acts as graduate student housing facilities and a conference center, helping to make the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve a world-class field research site. We annually host several workshops for our graduate students, regional scientists, and wildlife inspectors.








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Statistical Analysis in Program R: November 2017, Sikhote-Alin Research Center, Ternei, Russia
In contrast to several decades ago, biological studies today must be backed by rigorous statistical methods to be considered credible. The statistical program known simply as R is currently being used in an overwhelming majority of biological studies being published today. With huge analytical advantages over Statistica, the statistics program most-used in Russia, R is actually much easier to use (once an initial learning curve has been mastered). Our goal with this workshop is to help participants overcome their fear of statistics in general, and of R in particular. This workshop will target graduate students and early-career professionals.