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MacNulty Animal Ecology Lab


wolves surrounding buffalo
Ecology & Behavior of Predator-Prey Interactions
The restoration and recovery of large predators is controversial partly because the impact of these animals on food web structure and ecosystem function is not well understood. We are working to understand these effects by studying the extent that wolves in Yellowstone National Park and the High Arctic influence the abundance and distribution of large herbivores. We focus on how direct killing and fear of predation affect herbivore space use, demography, and population dynamics.
Ecology of Edge Populations
Populations at the edge of a species range are potentially more vulnerable to environmental change than core populations because of inferior habitat conditions.The dynamics of these populations are important because they may predict range contraction. We are exploring these ideas in a multi-year study of moose in Utah which is the southermost natural limit of the animal's North American distribution. Some southern populations elsewhere have crashed for reasons that remain unclear.