About Tom

Dr. Tom Hobbs has worked on population and community ecology of large herbivores for the last three decades. He made a variety of contributions to basic theory linking animal populations to their environment and has also worked to apply scientific knowledge to management and policy. Virtually all of his work uses mathematical models to gain insight from data. Tom developed the basic theory explaining regulation of food intake by herbivorous mammals and has made important conceptual contributions toward understanding how population dynamics are influenced by spatial heterogeneity of landscapes and habitat fragmentation. He has been at Colorado State since 2001 and before that served for 20 years as a research scientist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Tom recently was a Program Director in the Population and Community Ecology Cluster of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Ecological Applications. Tom has a degree in general biology from Grinnell College and an MS. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University.

Website CV


  • Tom is interested in using science to help solve contemporary environmental problems. He has always worked in teams in my research, teams composed of ecologists, ecosystem scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians. DESS is the best place on campus to use these interdisciplinary approaches to gaining and communicating knowledge. Tom is broadly interested in all sorts of ecological problems. Most of his work is funded by the National Science Foundation, but he also receives substantial support from the US National Park Service. Projects include efforts to understand effects of chronic wasting disease on populations of mule deer and elk, modeling brucellosis in bison, and understanding the interplay of food web structure, hydrology, and climate on riparian shrub communities in Yellowstone. Tom teaches a course in ecological modeling and model-data assimilation using Bayesian and likelihood methods (NR 575 Systems Ecology). He has taught this course with passion for 12 years.