University of Wisconsin–Madison
Spatial Analysis For Conservation and Sustainability

Maia Persche

M.S. Graduate Student

(608) 890-3160

120 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706


2016: B.S. Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison

Research interests

My research interests are centered on the response of vertebrates to anthropogenic change. Most of my experience has been with forest bird ecology in southern Wisconsin, but I’ve also studied endangered Gray Vireos in New Mexico and more recently (and briefly) cloud forest species in Northwest Ecuador. I believe that studying the complexities of species and ecosystems is an important step towards conservation, and that now is an essential time for both. For my master's research, I'll be investigating the effects of topography and microclimate on spring phenology in the Baraboo Hills, just north of Madison. I hope to shed light on the relationships between forest bird species, Lepidoptera larvae, and spring tree phenology across a varied landscape.

Personal interests

I love exploring wild places - both at home in Wisconsin and further afield. Over the past few years, I've also been doing some small-scale farming and am always happy to trade stories about gardening, canning food, making soap, or raising goats. As an undergraduate at UW-Madison, I spent many semesters interning for Slow Food UW and continue to support any work that forwards social justice and food accessibility. In my free time, I can usually be found playing the guitar or flute, painting, or reading.

Where I'm From