Staff Profile
Calli Wise points at river otter scat on a boardwalk at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.


I am interested in studying urban wildlife and coastal ecology with emphasis on including local stakeholders and citizen scientists in research.  I’m very passionate about education and expanding public access to natural spaces.

M.S. Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology, Frostburg State University, 2020 – 2022*

B.S. Wildlife Conservation, Juniata College, 2017

I am writing my M.S. thesis on river otter latrine habitat at SERC while working on two collaborative projects to monitor ecological and human health in the Chesapeake Bay.  I survey river otter latrines across the region and analyze scat using DNA metabarcoding to compare the diet and parasites of river otters across urban density gradients.  I am also assessing the competency of oysters as a biofilter to identify human pathogens.  These projects heavily integrate local and state partnerships.  This research will serve as a foundation for monitoring pathogens and the health of river otters and ecosystems across the Chesapeake Bay.