Research

Dr. Porter’s research explores the behavior of wildlife populations, emphasizing the application of ecological knowledge to promoting the conservation of wildlife. Studies are conducted within the context of training students as wildlife biologists and leaders in conservation. Most of the research focuses on larger vertebrates and questions range from the influence of social behavior on population management, to the merits of satellite imagery in understanding the landscape ecology of wildlife, to the factors determining the potential for populations to support regulated harvest. Students completing graduate programs become proficient with field biology, computer analysis, communication, and leadership.

 

Current Research

  • Adaptation and resilience in habitat planning: Coupled human and natural systems models of oak management in a changing climate. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With C. Hoving.  
  • American woodcock reproductive rates in relation to forest structure at local and landscape scales. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With D. Luukkonen, D. Williams and A. Shoffner.
  • Assessing the impact of forest management systems on wildlife and biodiversity. Sponsor: Boone and Crockett Endowment. With A. Crosby.
  • Effects of land-use policy on wildlife conservation across northern forested landscapes. Sponsor: Boone and Crockett Endowment. With K. Frens.
  • Evaluating the impacts of landscape-level changes on the abundance and distribution of record book white-tailed deer across a large geographic region. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With D. Williams and R. Cain.
  • Evaluating the interaction of emerging diseases on white-tailed deer populations. Sponsor: Hal and Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation. With D. Williams and S. Christensen.
  • Kirtland’s warbler sampling protocol, restructuring model for estimating elk populations, and translating moose population models from SAS to R. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With D. Williams.
  • Landscape-level population dynamics of wild turkeys in the upper Midwestern US. Midwest Wild Turkey Consortium. Sponsor: Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. With A. Stewart and D. Williams.
  • Local-scale assessment and monitoring of deer populations following a major mortality event. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With B. Rudolph, D. Williams and S. Christensen.
  • Management solutions for chronic wasting disease. Sponsors: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, MSUCANR, MSU Extension and MSU AgBio Research. With B. Rudolph, K. Straka, C. Stewart, D. Williams, S. Christensen and J. Cook.
  • Midwest Wild Turkey Consortium. Sponsor: National Wild Turkey Federation. With J. Crawford. 
  • Population dynamics and management of wild turkeys in Michigan: linking monitoring, assessment, and harvest-policy evaluation. Sponsor: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. With A. Stewart, D. Luukonnen and B. Stevens.
  • Population dynamics of brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve, AK. Sponsor: Boone and Crockett Endowment. With D. Williams and L. Skora.
  • Spatially-explicit capture-recapture estimation of black bear abundance in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. Sponsor: Boone and Crockett Endowment. With D. Williams and J. Smith.