Research Interests

I am interested in ecological relationships among similar species. I primarily study interactions such as intraguild predation, interspecific competition, and disease risk. My dissertation research focuses on intraguild predation by mid-sized to large carnivores on Pacific fishers, a large mustelid that inhabits western forests. I use both molecular and field studies to identify predators of fishers, determine the frequency and patterns of this interaction, and understand the ecology of the predators as it relates to fisher populations. Through my research organization, Integral Ecology Research Center (IERC), most of this research is funded. In addition, my IERC projects also include long-term population monitoring, genetics, and disease prevalence in sympatric populations of Sierra and foothill yellow-legged frogs.  I also co-direct MGW Biological, an environmental firm that conducts various wildlife, botanical and fisheries studies in the west.  I am currently collaborating on various research projects including marten ecology in California and Minnesota, Oregon silverspot butterfly population trends, predation in black-tailed deer in northern California, and predation on the Vancouver Island marmot.

I have two dogs, two cats, and a wonderful husband with whom I like to backpack, hunt, fish, bodyboard, garden, cross-country ski, and watch Star Trek re-runs. I also like to relax by playing the piano and reading.

Professional Affiliations

The Wildlife Society (National, Western and California North Coast chapters)

Ecological Society of America

The Wildlife Disease Association

The American Society of Mammalogists

Pacific Northwestern Vertebrate Biologists

Presentations and Invited Speaker

Over 40 presentations at international, national, regional and local conferences and invited speaker for several universities, colleges and local schools.

Invited Book Chapters

2012 – Wengert, G.M., M.W. Gabriel, and D.L. Clifford.  Investigating cause-specific mortality and diseases in carnivores: tools and techniques in Carnivore ecology and conservation: a Handbook of Techniques. R.A Powell and L. Boitani, editors. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

2012 - Gabriel, M.W., Wengert, G.M., and R.N. Brown.  Pathogens and parasites of the genus Martes: management and conservation implications in Biology and conservation of martens, sables, and fishers: a new synthesis.  K.B. Aubry, W.J. Zielinski, M.G. Raphael, G. Proulx, and S.W. Buskirk, editors.  Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Peer-reviewed Publications

In review - Matthews, S.M., J.M. Higley, K.M. Rennie, R.E. Green, C.A. Goddard, G.M. Wengert, M.W. Gabriel and T.K. Fuller. Reproduction, recruitment, and dispersal of fishers (Martes pennanti) in a managed, Douglas-fir dominated forest in northwestern California.

In preparation – Wengert, G.W., M.W. Gabriel, J.E. Foley, T. Kun, and B.N. Sacks.  Molecular Techniques for Identifying Intraguild Predators of Fishers and other North American Small Carnivores.

In preparation – Wengert, G.M., M.W. Gabriel, L. Woods, S.M. Keller, P. Gaffney, M. Jones, R. Sweitzer, R. Barrett, C. Thompson, K. Purcell, S. Matthews, J.M. Higley, B.N. Sacks, R. Green, L. Munson. Identifying Predators of Fishers and Associated Pathology Characteristics of Intraguild Predation Events in California.

In preparation – Wengert, G.M., M.W. Gabriel, and J. Bettaso. Habitat Use, Home Range, and Movements of Sierra and Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs in the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In preparation – Gabriel, M.W., L. Woods, R. Poppenga, R. Sweitzer, C. Thompson, S. Matthews, J.M. Higley, S. Keller, L. Munson, K. Purcell, R. Barret, G. M. Wengert, P. Gaffney B.N. Sacks, and D. L. Clifford.  Exposure and Poisoning with Anticoagulant Rodenticides in a Rare Carnivore Population within Public Lands.

In preparation - Brown, R. N., M. W. Gabriel, G. M. Wengert, S. Matthews, J. M. Higley, and J. E. Foley. Pathogens associated with fishers in northern California.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

In preparation – Gabriel, M.W., G. M. Wengert, J. E. Foley, J. M. Higley, S. Matthews, and R. N. Brown. Sympatric mesocarnivores as sentinels for pathogens associated with fishers in northern California.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

2010 - Gabriel, M.W., G. M. Wengert, S. M. Matthews, J. M. Higley, J. E. Foley, A. Blades, M. Sullivan, and R. N. Brown. Effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests to assess pathogens of fishers (Martes pennanti) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46:966-970.

2010 - Gabriel, M.W. and G.M. Wengert. 2010. Dangers of leather gloves. The Wildlife Professional.  4:10.

2009 - Wengert, G.W., M.W. Gabriel, R.L. Mathis and T. Hughes.  Food habits of wild turkey in national forest of Northern California and Southern Oregon. Western Birds.  40:284-291.

2008 – Wengert, G.M. and D. Kitchen. Sexual Differences in Nursing Behavior Among Roosevelt Elk. Northwestern Naturalist 89: 10 – 16.

2006 - Brown, R. N., M. W. Gabriel, G.M. Wengert, S. Matthews, J. M. Higley, and J. E. Foley. Fecally transmitted pathogens associated with Pacific fishers (Martes pennanti) in northwestern California. Transactions of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society 42:40-46.