The Department of Wildlife Ecology, College of Natural Sciences,
Forestry, and Agriculture offers graduate study leading to a Master of Science
in Wildlife Ecology, a non-thesis Master of Wildlife Conservation, and a Ph.D.
degree in Wildlife Ecology. A broad range of ecosystems, modern laboratory facilities,
and a diversified staff provide excellent opportunities for graduate study in
wildlife ecology. Emphasis is placed on detailed studies of wildlife species
and the habitats in which they live. Research may be conducted in such areas
as terrestrial and aquatic ecology, physiology, behavior, population dynamics,
experimental management, and the influence of environmental disturbances.
In addition to the Wildlife Ecology faculty, supporting staff represent disciplines
including Animal, Veterinary and Aquatic Sciences, Forestry, and Biological Sciences. Personnel
from the U.S.G.S. Biological Research Division participate in the program as
do biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The
Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, plays an important role in
maintaining a close liaison between the University and state and federal agencies.
Many graduate students participate in the research programs of these units.
Students are admitted to the graduate program in Wildlife Ecology on the basis
of their academic records, GRE scores, experience, and recommendations. All
applications are considered automatically for several teaching and research
assistantships available each year. These assistantships include stipends and
payment of tuition. Additional money is available for research expenses on most
projects. Applications should be submitted by February 28 for admission in the
In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following requirements
must be met by graduate students in Wildlife Ecology:
Selection of the student’s advisory committee during the first semester to
provide program direction and aid in development of the student’s research proposal;
completion of a program of study during the first semester; completion of a
detailed thesis proposal prior to the beginning of the second semester.
All students should have finished coursework in the following subject areas
either in a previous program or prior to completion of the MS or MWC degree.
Biology-18 credits to include:
- Vertebrate Zoology (4 cr.)
- Invertebrate Zoology (3 cr.)
- Ecology (4 cr.)
- Botany (4 cr.)
Management-20 credits to include:
- Habitat and Population Management (6 cr.)
- Resource Economics and Policy (6 cr.)
- Management of Related Resources (3 cr.)
- Statistics (3 cr.)
At least one course in each of the biology topics must be a laboratory course.
M.S. candidates are required to complete at least 20 course credits.
MWC students must complete a 4-credit independent study on a topic selected
by the student and advisory committee and submit a formal report for approval
by the committee. Though this is not a thesis, it will require the review and
quality of presentation suitable for publication.
A comprehensive examination consisting of both written and oral sections is
administered to Ph.D. candidates after most of the student’s course work is
All theses must be written in publication format and presented at a Department
seminar and defended during a final oral examination.
Each Ph.D. candidate also is required to undertake a program to broaden or
extend his or her knowledge in a discipline that is ancillary to wildlife ecology.
A suitable discipline will be selected by the candidate and his or her graduate
committee. Selection will be based on the candidate’s background and professional
aspirations. Suitable disciplines might include foreign languages, quaternary
studies, economics, biochemistry, physiology, geographic information systems
(GIS), or statistical theory. The level of effort of this endeavor should equal
at least six credit hours, but need not take the form of structured course work
if a suitable alternative is developed. Upon completion of this effort, the
candidate will demonstrate his or her proficiency to the graduate committee
to fulfill this requirement.
All Ph.D. candidates are required to have at least one semester of teaching
The credit hour requirement for doctoral students in Wildlife Ecology shall
include a minimum of 50 credit hours, which may include a maximum of 30 credit
hours from the master’s program. A minimum of 35 credit hours will be in course
work, of which 20 hours must be in graduate level (500/600) courses. Ph.D. students
are expected to be engaged in full-time work on their Ph.D. program for a minimum
of two full years; most programs last 3-4 years beyond the master’s degree.
For details about specific aspects of the program and the availability of assistantships,
write to the Chairperson, Department of Wildlife Ecology, College of Natural
Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, 210 Nutting Hall.
Frederick A. Servello, Ph.D. (Virginia Polytech Inst. and State Univ.,
1985), Associate Professor and Chair. Nutrition and physiology, habitat relationships
of birds and mammals.
James R. Gilbert, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1974), Professor. Population dynamics,
biometrics, big game, and pinnipeds.
Daniel J. Harrison, Ph.D. (Maine, 1986), Pro-fessor.
Carnivore ecology, habitat relationships, forestry - wildlife interactions.
Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr., D. Phil. (Oxford, 1978), Professor and Libra
Professor. Conservation biology, forest wildlife management, landscape ecology,
William B. Krohn, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1977), Professor. Leader, Maine Cooperative
Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Migratory bird management, habitat evaluation,
and wildlife administration.
Cynthia S. Loftin, Ph.D. (Florida, 1998), Assistant Professor of Wildlife
Ecology and Assistant Leader, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
Systems ecology, landscape ecology, wetlands ecology, GIS applications.
Jerry R. Longcore, M.S. (Michigan, 1963), Faculty Associate, U.S. National
Biological Survey. Waterfowl and wetlands ecology.
Raymond J. O’Connor, Ph.D. (Oxford, 1973), Professor. Avian Population
Dynamics, life history studies.
Judith M. Rhymer, Ph.D. (Florida State University, 1988), Assistant
Professor. Population genetics and conservation biology.