Alton Harestad Evolution and Ecology

Animal ecology expert

The Story

In the portion of my research program directed at the ecology of Mustelidae, one study is examining use of old-growth and young seral stages by pine marten. In another study we are developing and testing a habitat suitability index model for pine marten. This research will provide understanding of pine marten populations and guidelines for the management of pine marten in forests.

In the vertebrae pest management portion of my research program, we are investigating factors that affect foraging behavior and habitat use. One study is investigating the behavior of voles as mediated by predator odors. Other studies are examining life histories of wildlife to determine parameters that contribute to pest behavior. This research will allow development of ecologically based methods for controlling wildlife damage to forest and agricultural crops.

Career ideas:

  • Government paleontologist
  • University professor
  • Laboratory scientist
  • Chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and pulp/paper industries staff scientist
  • Petroleum/mining consultant
  • Private consulting scientist

The Person

Professor Emeritus of Biology
  • PhD UBC 1979
Last Updated
December 6, 2011

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question #1575

Can someone tell me how scientists are able to get an idea of how many foxes are in an area simply by looking at the amount of fox excrement around? If there is a reasonably simple formula, I would like to know what it is. There is a considerable amount of red fox dung at one of the local woodland areas, and I would be interested to find out how many foxes are likely to be about were I to count the number of scat piles I encounter whilst walking my dog.

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