Jen Cruz

Postdoctoral Associate

Research Interests:

I work at the interface between applied and quantitative ecology aiming to use rigorous statistical methods in empirical studies that address ecological questions relevant to wildlife management and conservation. In particular, my research has focused on evaluating the top-down effects of invasive predators (including those mediated by invasive prey) on native species in Australia and New Zealand. Studies include evaluations of the trophic consequences of (invasive) red foxes and feral cats on the demography and behavior of species of conservation concern including brushtail possums, black stilts and black-fronted terns, amongst others. In collaboration with conservation agencies, I have also become interested in improving estimates of invasive species dynamics by using novel statistical approaches that are able to better handle the often complex and messy data that are the result of management operations. Currently with the Zuckerberg lab and in collaboration with the National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey, I am exploring how the recovery of one of America’s most iconic avian apex predators, the bald eagle, exerts top-down effects that cascade down trophic levels, affecting colony size, habitat selection, survival and productivity of multiple mesopredators and prey. See more details on the Trophic Interactions page.


Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
226 Russell Labs; 1630 Linden Drive; Rm. 213
Madison, WI 53706-1598


Ph.D. Ecology – 2012 – University of Queensland, Australia – Dissertation: “Ecology of the koomal (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) in the northern jarrah forest in relation to predation and resource availability”

B.Env Sci. (First Class Honours) Biology and Chemistry – 2005 – Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Selected Publications:

Cruz, J., Woolmore, C., Latham, M.C., Latham, A.D.M., Anderson, D.P. (2015). Seasonal and individual variation in selection by feral cats for areas with widespread primary prey and localised alternative prey. Wildlife Research 41: 650-661.

Latham, A.D.M., Latham, M.C., Anderson, D.P., Cruz, J., Herries, D., Hebblewhite M. (2015). The GPS craze: six questions to address before deciding to deploy GPS technology on wildlife. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 39: 143-152.

Cruz, J., Pech, R.P., Seddon, P.J., Cleland, S., Nelson, D., Sanders, M.D., Maloney, R.F. (2013). Species-specific responses by ground-nesting Charadriiformes to invasive predators and river flows in the braided Tasman River of New Zealand. Biological Conservation 167: 363-370.

Cruz, J., Glen, A.S., Pech, R.P. (2013). Modelling landscape-level numerical responses of predators to prey: the case of cats and rabbits. PLoS ONE 8: e73544.

Cruz, J., Sutherland, D.R., Anderson, D.P., Glen, A.S., de Tores, P., Leung, L.K.-P. (2013). Antipredator responses of koomal (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) against introduced and native predators. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 1329-1338.

Complete list can be found on my Google Scholar profile.