Kevin R. Crooks


Monfort Professor 2010-2012

Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Colorado State University

115 Wagar

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1474

Phone (970) 491-7936


Education | Professional Experience | Research | Teaching | Graduate Students | Postdocs | Publications 


Ph.D. Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, December 1999

Dissertation: Mammalian carnivores, mesopredator release, and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system.
Advisor: Michael Soule, Department of Environmental Studies

M.S. Ecology, University of California, Davis, May 1994

Thesis: Comparative ecology of the island spotted skunk and the island fox of Santa Cruz Island, California.
Advisor: Dirk Van Vuren, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

B.S. Zoology (Honors), Colorado State University, May 1989

Honor’s Thesis: The relationship between kinship and affiliative behavior in a free-ranging troop of primates.



2003-Present. Assistant/Associate/Full Professor; Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Graduate Degree Program in Ecology; Colorado State University

2001-2003. Assistant Professor; Department of Wildlife Ecology; Institute for Environmental Studies; University of Wisconsin Madison


In my lab, we strive to apply theoretical principles of ecology, behavior, and conservation science to natural systems. We use a combination of field observations, field and laboratory experiments, and modeling techniques to answer specific questions generated by observing natural systems. My research has emphasized the ecology and conservation of mammals, often focusing on carnivores due to their sensitivities to environmental disturbances. I do not feel limited, however, to the study of any specific taxon. Rather, we strive to ask and answer interesting scientific questions that help promote the conservation of biological diversity.

Because of my commitment to, and passion for, conservation, much of my research, and that of my lab, examines the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on the natural world. One primary research avenue is continued investigation of the effects of habitat fragmentation, urban sprawl, and landscape connectivity on wildlife and the systems in which they live.   

Link to edited volume - Connectivity Conservation - through the Conservation Biology Book Series at Cambridge University Press:


Review of volume in Conservation Biology

"Enhancing ecological connectivity in the context of protected-area networks and land- and waterscapes may be the greatest challenge and possibly the most important task facing conservationists today.  This book is a milestone in conservation biology not only because of the importance of the subject matter but also because of the numerous excellent and authoritative summaries....

..This book provides, as described on its cover, a summary of the current status and literature on connectivity and will certainly become one of the classic texts in conservation biology.  As with other books in this series, it should be required reading in all advanced courses in conservation biology."

Newmark, W.  2008.  Another milestone in conservation literature.  Conservation Biology 22: 224.


Every Fall, I teach Principles of Wildlife Management (FW 260), a course targeted towards sophomores and juniors that focuses on principles of ecology applied to management and conservation of fish and wildlife resources

Every Fall, I also teach Conservation Biology (FW455), a senior-level course that examines the integrative approaches necessary for the protection and management of earth's biological diversity




Prospective Graduate Students

Due to a currently full lab, I do not anticipate accepting additional graduate students for the 2016-2017 or the 2017-2018 school years.  If this situation changes, I will post advertisements on this website as well as other outlets (e.g., Texas A&M Wildlife Job Board; Society for Conservation Biology; Ecolog).

Thank you for your interest, and good luck in your search for graduate school!

Current Graduate Students

Adam Dillon: Ph.D. Ecology

Title: Ecology of the island fox and island spotted skunk on Santa Cruz Island

Funding: The Nature Conservancy

Ashley Gramza:   Ph.D. Wildlife Biology; M.S. Human Dimensions in Natural Resources  

Title:  Integrating biological and social science data to understand the ecological role of free-ranging domestic cats in urbanizing landscapes

Funding: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship; NSF Ecology of Infectious Disease Program; Colorado State University Infectious Disease Supercluster; The Berryman Institute;  Denver Audubon Society; American Society of Mammalogists

 Dr. Tara Teel, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSU

Courtney Larson: Ph.D. Ecology

Title:  Wildlife responses to  human recreation on San Diego NCCP  reserves.

Funding: California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Wildlife Conservation Society

Co-Advisor:  Dr.  Sarah Reed, Wildlife Conservation Society

Stacy Lischka:   Ph.D. Wildlife Biology  

Title:  Understanding human-black bear interactions in Durango, Colorado

Funding: Colorado Parks and Wildlife 

Co-Advisor:  Dr. Tara Teel, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSU

Completed Graduate Students

Robert Alonso  

M.S. Wildlife Biology (Colorado State University): 2012 

The effects of urbanization and road development on carnivores in southern California

Casey Brown  

M.S. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2010

Anthropogenic sound impacts on ungulates in Grand Teton National Park

Co-Advisor:  Dr. Lisa Angeloni, Department of Biology, CSU

Amanda Hardy  

Ph.D. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2012

A transportation corridor runs through it: people, wildlife, and transportation in national parks and beyond.

Shalene George 

M.S. Wildlife Ecology (University of Wisconsin Madison): 2003

Mammalian carnivores and human recreation in a southern California urban reserve

Amariah Lebsock

M.S. Biology (Colorado State University):  2009

Swift fox space use and selection for prairie dog colonies before and after a plague epizootic 

Co-Advisor:  Dr. Michael Antolin, Department of Biology, CSU

Jesse Lewis

Ph.D. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2014

The effects of urbanization on felid populations, interactions, and pathogen dynamics

Seth Magle  

Ph.D. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2007

M.S. Wildlife Ecology (University of Wisconsin Madison): 2003

The persistence of prairie dogs within urban habitat islands in the Colorado Front Range

Sharon Poessel

M.S. Ecology (Colorado State University):  2009

Behavior and conservation of black footed-ferrets: stress in captivity and predation risk in the wild 

Co-Advisor:  Dr. Lisa Angeloni, Department of Biology, CSU

Emily Ruell 

M.S. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2006

Estimating population parameters of mammalian carnivores in southern California using non-invasive genetic sampling

Jeff Tracey  

Ph.D. Ecology (Colorado State University): 2006

M.S. Biometry (University of Wisconsin Madison): 2004

Use of statistical analysis and simulation models of mammalian carnivore movement to assess landscape connectivity

John Wilson 

M.S. (Plan B) Wildlife Biology (Colorado State University): 2007

Comparison of research trends in the fields of Conservation Biology and Wildlife Biology



Completed Postdoctoral Researchers

Jesse Barber (2008-2010) 

Title:  The masking effect of anthropogenic noise on interactions between predators and prey
Funding:  National Park Service
Co-Advisor:  Kurt Fristrup (NPS)

Sarah Bevins (2008-2010)

Title:  The effects of urban fragmentation and landscape connectivity on disease prevalence and transmission in     North American felids
Funding:  NSF Ecology of Infectious Disease Program
Primary Advisor:  Sue Vandewoude (Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology)

Chris Burdett (2007-2011)

Title:  Conservation status of pumas through habitat modeling and mapping
 Summerlee Foundation; National Park Service
Co-Advisors:  Ken Wilson (Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology), David Theobald (Human Dimensions in Natural Resources)

Scott Carver (2010-2012)

Title:  The effects of urban fragmentation and landscape connectivity on disease prevalence and transmission in     North American felids
Funding:  NSF Ecology of Infectious Disease Program
Primary Advisor:  Sue Vandewoude (Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology)

Graeme Shannon (2012-2014)

Title:  The effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife behavior, ecology, and conservation
Funding:  National Park Service
Co-Advisors:  George Wittemyer and Ken Wilson (Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology); Lisa Angeloni (Biology); Kurt Fristrup (NPS)

Jeff Tracey (2007-2009)

Title:   Agent-based movement modeling, functional landscape connectivity, and disease transmission networks for felids in fragmented landscapes.
Funding:  NSF Ecology of Infectious Disease Program
Co-Advisor:  Sue Vandewoude (Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology)


Colorado State University | College of Natural Resources | Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Last updated: 05-24-2010