Science On Tap: "Scaredy Cats: How Pumas’ Fear of Humans Impacts the Santa Cruz Mountains Ecosystem" with Justine Smith, PhD Candidate, UCSC Dept. of Environmental Studies

Jul 29 @ 8:00pm

In The Garden at The Crepe Place! 8pm start time

Please dress for the outdoors. Call 831-429-6994 for reservations

"Scaredy Cats: How Pumas’ Fear of Humans Impacts the Santa Cruz Mountains Ecosystem" with
Justine Smith, PhD Candidate, UCSC Dept. of Environmental Studies


When considering how species interact with one another, we often think of the food chain – the pattern of how species consume each other. However, the struggle not to be eaten is just as important to animal community structure. Animal fear responses to their predators are powerful drivers of species interactions and ecosystem function. But what happens when it is us who instill fear in animals? This talk will discuss the downstream effects of human-induced fear in the Santa Cruz Mountains’ last large carnivore, the puma. By unpacking seven years of data from the Santa Cruz Puma Project, this talk will explore relationships between people, pumas, and the greater Santa Cruz Mountains ecosystem.