My Story

As an undergraduate in Colorado, I chased owls the size of baked potatoes through ponderosa pine forests in the dead of night. These adorable and elusive creatures would elicit a faint hoot and I would lay chase. Up a mountain, down the other side. Pause. “Is this where you are roosting?” Another faint hoot from the tree across the way. Nope. Up another mountain. This was perilous and exhausting work, all in the name of science and conservation. Despite the challenges, I never looked back. I’ve been chasing elusive, imperiled species ever since. I chase mammals now, but hearing an owl call cut through a dark forest still makes my heart skip a beat. Conservation biology programs at small colleges are even rarer than those owls I pursued years ago. I love our community of Warren Wilson Owls, where students can chase their dreams, feathered or not, from day one.

Liesl Peterson Erb
Liesl Erb in the field
Liesl Erb with a critter


  • B.A. in Biology, Colorado College
  • Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder

Research Interests

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Conservation biology
  • Wildlife ecology
  • Mammalogy

Courses Taught

  • BIO 2020: Ecology
  • ENS 3100: Conservation and Wildlife Biology
  • ENS 2950: Mammalogy

Crews and Other Activities

  • Mentor for WWC's Society for Conservation Biology chapter

Contact Dr. Erb

Morse 215
WWC CPO 6064
PO Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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