Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

A Review of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Management Program

Study Director:


Dr. Guy H. Palmer - (Chair)
Washington State University

Dr. Guy Palmer's goal is to improve control of animal diseases with direct impact on human health and well-being. Within this focus, he leads global health research programs in sub-Saharah Africa and Latin America. For his research at the interface of animal disease and human public health, Dr. Palmer was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine and currently serves on the Board on Global Health. Additionally, Dr. Palmer is a member of and serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington State Academy of Science, which provides expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making. Dr. Palmer has been recently recognized with a NIH Merit Award for research in microbial genetics, the Merck Award for Creatvitiy, and the Schalm Lectureship at the University of California, the NIH Distinguished Scientist Lecture, the Sahlin Award for Research, Scholarship, and the Arts, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Currently, Dr. Palmer serves as an advisor to the International Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Northwest Regional Center for Excellence in Infectious Diseases, and on the external boards for several universities in the United States and Latin America. He received his B.S. summa cum laude and D.V.M. from Kansas State University and his Ph.D. from Washington State University; he is board-certified in anatomic pathology.


Dr. Daniel I. Rubenstein
Princeton University

Dr. Daniel I. Rubenstein is the Chair of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Princeton University, where he is also a professor. His research focuses on decision-making in animals. Dr. Rubenstein develops simple mathematical models to generate predictions that can be tested using data gathered from structured field observations or experimental manipulations. Much of his recent research on the adaptive value of behavior has centered on understanding the social dynamics of equids: horses, zebras, and asses. How risks are assessed, decisions are made, and conflicts of interest among individuals of differing phenotypes with differing needs are avoided is the focus of his ongoing research into the control of behavior. His latest research focuses on one such problem - the rules governing animal movements and migration - and involves the interaction of 'self-organizing' behavioral movement rules, ecological information, and habitat structure at multiple spatial scales to understand how migratory animal movements respond to human-induced land use change and how these changes in movement in turn affect population stability. Dr. Rubenstein received his M.S. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from Duke University.


Dr. Lynn Huntsinger
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Lynn Huntsinger is Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Huntsinger is a rangeland ecologist whose work focuses on the conservation and management of rangelands and ranching. Ongoing studies include research on oak woodland landowners and management in California and Spain, land fragmentation and conservation in oak woodlands, and participatory management strategies. She is a team leader for the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project, working with the Forest Service and state agencies to restore forest health. She continues to purse lines of inquiry and theory she has found useful to her work: ecological models for disequilibrium systems as tools to understand the linkages between human relationships and ecological change; work in political ecology founded in basic notions of who win and who loses in struggles over access to natural resources; and adaptive management as arbitrator in landscape and resource management. Dr. Huntsinger is also a California Certified Range Manager. She received her Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Management from the University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Paul R. Krausman
University of Montana

Dr. Paul R. Krausman is the Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences at the University of Montana. His professional interests lie in the study of large mammals, especially as influenced by anthropogenic factors. Projects he is currently conducting include ecology of desert mule deer in southeastern California, winter ecology of mule deer in Montana and Idaho, predator-prety relationships between wolves and ungulates in Arizona, bison use of water in Montana, caribou-calving shifts in Newfoundland, use of clear cut areas by caribou in Newfoundland, and diet quality of bighorn sheep. He belongs to many professional organizations, including the Wildlife Society, Society for Range Management, and American Society of Mammologists. Dr. Krausman received his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in Wildlife Science.


Dr. Madan K. Oli
University of Florida

Dr. Madan K. Oli is Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Florida. Dr. Oli seeks to understand factors and processes that influence dynamics, regulation, and persistence of populations and to contribute to science-based management of wildlife populations. His research addresses both basic theoretical questions and finding practical solutions to ecological problems using a combination of ecological theory, mathematical and statisical models, and field data. He was granted the University of Florida Research Professor Award in 2010 to fund his projects. Dr. Oli has published or co-authored over 100 publications. He received his Ph.D. from Auburn University.


Dr. Steven Petersen
Brigham Young University

Dr. Steven Petersen is currently an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University (BYU) where he teaches landscape ecology, natural resource planning, and forest ecology and management. He conducts research on the spatio-temporal effects of juniper invasion on naturla resources, sage-grouse habitat assessment at broad spatial scales, and the impacts of wild horse distribution patterns on plant community structure. He advises graduate and undergraduate students, is the coach of the BYU plant team, and an advisor for the range and wildlife club. He was employed by the department to teach a suite of rangeland classes including arid-land plant identification, ecophysiology, landscape ecology, and rangeland ecology and management. Dr. Petersen graduated from Oregon State University in 2004 with a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Management.


Dr. Lori S. Eggert
University of Missouri

Dr. Lori S. Eggert is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Research in her lab uses the tools of molecular genetics to study wildlife species that are difficult or dangerous to study using traditional methods. By combining intensive field studies with individually-based genetic analyses, she asks questions about the ecology and evolution of species that would be almost impossible to study any other way. Current projects include field and laboratory studies aimed at refining the methods Dr. Eggert uses for "genetic censusing" of elusive species in the forests of Africa and Asia. Using DNA extracted from elephant dung samples, she has used multilocus genotypes as genetic tags for the purpose of estimating population sizes and sex-specific markers to estimate sex ratios. Previously, Dr. Eggert had been a research and postdoctoral associate at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She received her M.S. in Ecology from San Diego State University and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, in Biology.


Dr. David M. Powell
Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronz Zoo

Dr. David M. Powell is Assistant Curator of Mammals at the Bronx Zoo, overseeing hoofed animals and carnivores. His research interests lie in studies of the role of dominance and subordiance in animal societies. As a zoo biologist, he is interested in application of behavioral knowledge to management of animals in captivity with the goal of promoting captive breeding, preparing animals for reintroduction, and ensuring optimal animal welfare. He has studied a variety of species both in captivity and in the field and has studied the application of captive population genetic management techniques to wild populations. Populations studied include feral horses, gorillas, flamingos, lions, golden lion tamarins, kori bustards, octopus, small carnivores, and giant pandas. Dr. Powell received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Miami and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Maryland. He is a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. He is also a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Animal Welfare Committee, Equid Taxon Advisory Group, Caprid Taxon Advisory Group, and Contraceptive Advisory Board. He has participated in the IUCN Conservation Breeding Group's Horses of Assateague Island Population and Habitat Viability Assessment Workshop.


Dr. Linda E. Kalof
Michigan State University

Dr. Linda Kalof is Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of Michigan State University???s interdisciplinary graduate specialization in Animal Studies. She has published more than 40 articles and book chapters and ten books including Making Animal Meaning (MSU Press, 2011), A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Middle Ages (Berg 2010), A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Renaissance (Berg 2010), Introduction to Social Statistics (Wiley/Blackwell, 2009), Essentials of Social Research (McGraw-Hill 2008), Looking at Animals in Human History (University of Chicago/Reaktion 2007), A Cultural History of Animals in Antiquity (Berg 2007), The Animals Reader (Berg 2007), The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values (Earthscan 2005), and Evaluating Social Science Research (Oxford University Press 1996). Dr. Kalof served as General Editor for the multi-volume A Cultural History of Animals and A Cultural History of the Human Body, and she is currently editing A Cultural History of Women and The Animal Turn. She has received two outstanding scholarship awards (the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title for A Cultural History of Animals 2008 and the ASA Outstanding Paper Award from the Animals & Society Section 2010). She was named a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in 2008; appointed to the Advisory Board for the Detroit Zoo???s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare in 2010; and is listed in Who???s Who in America, Who???s Who of American Women and Who???s Who in the World.


Dr. Cheryl S. Asa
St. Louis Zoological Park

Dr. Cheryl S. Asa is the Director of Research at the St. Louis Zoo and Director of the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center. She is an adjunct professor in the Biology Department of St. Louis University and in the Department of Forest, Range, and Wildlife Sciences at Utah State University and teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. She previously worked on a Bureau of Land Management project on fertility control of feral horses in Nevada and Oregon. Dr. Asa is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. In 2005 she co-authored a book entitled Wildlife Contraception: Issues, Methods and Applications, in addition to her many other scientific publications. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology.


Dr. Erik A. Beever
U.S. Geological Survey, Bozeman

Dr. Erik A. Beever is a Research Ecology with the United State Geological Survey (USGS), Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center. His areas of specialization and interest are disturbance ecology, mechanisms of biotic response to climate change, and monitoring in conservation reserves, all at community to landscape scales. Sincd 1995 he has investigated the synecology of chnages in grazing regimes (for free-roaming horses and burros, cattle, and domestic sheep) from a broad-scale yet mechanism-focused perspective to answer applied questions and address ecological theory. His greatest research experience is with mammals, but also with plants, soils, reptiles, amphibians, and ants. Prior to his current position, Dr. Beever worked wtih the U.S. National Park Service an a Quantitivative Ecologist. He is currently a member of Sigma Xi, the American Society of Mammalogists, the Society of Conservation Biology, and the Wildlife Society. For the latter, he is Chair of the Biological Diversity Working Group and a member of the Biometrics and Climate Change Working Groups. Dr. Beever received his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.


Dr. Michael B. Coughenour
Colorado State University

Dr. Michael B. Coughenour is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. He was a joint principle investigator on the South Turkana Ecosystem Project, investigating a native pastoral ecosystem in northern Kenya. He has carried out several major modeling and field studies of grazing ecosystems and assessments of ungulate carrying capacities in Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. He has developed three ecosystem models that have enjoyed wide success: GRASS-CSOM, GEMTM, and SAVANNA. He has been involved in research on pastoral and grazing ecosystems in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Inner Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and Canada and has consulted on grazing ecosystem ecology in many other locations around the world. He has carried out ecosystem modeling responses to atmospheric change and has worked with atmospheric scientists to develop one of the first linked ecosystem-atmosphere models (RAMS-GEMTM). Dr. Coughenour received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University, specializing in systems ecology and nutrient cycling in a southern Montana grassland. He subsequently studied the Serengeti grazing ecosystem in Tanzania, using simulation modeling and experimental studies to determine how the ecosystem supports the world's largest ungulate herds.


Dr. Robert Garrott
Montana State University

Dr. Robert Garrott is a faculty member in the Ecology Department at Montana State University and the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Management Program. The focus of his research is understanding the abiotic and biotic ecological processes that influence mammalian populations and communities. He works in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and contributes to basic science as well as applied wildlife management and conservation through collaborations with state and federal natural resource agencies. Dr. Garrott teaches undergraduate courses in wildlife management techniques and principles of fish and wildlife management. He received his M.S. in Wildlife Management from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Wildlife Conservation.


Dr. David S. Thain
University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. David S. Thain is an Assistant Professor and State Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He is actively engaged in a vareity of research interests. He currently is participating in feral/wild horse contraception methods, range cattle DNA paternity testing, bighorn sheep and domestic sheep disease interactions, mule deer mortality issues, and catastrophic bighorn sheep die offs. Dr. Thain has a particular interest in development of cost-effective management tools for agency wild horse and burro field managers. Prior to his employment at UNR, he was the Nevada State Veterinarian, where he was responsible for managing the Virginia Range Estray Horse Program. This is a state feral horse herd adjacent to Reno, Nevada. Dr. Thain practiced veterinary medicine in Wyoming and Montana from 1980 to 1998. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1980.