Tom Morrison

Tom is a postdoctoral researcher with general interests in demography, plant-herbivore interactions and the population consequences of wildlfie migration. He currently works with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to understand bighorn sheep movements and demography. Between 2012 and 2014 he studied savannah tree dynamics in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania with Michael Anderson of Wake Forest University. Tom worked with Matt Kauffman previously from 2010-2012 modeling ungulate population monitoring data, in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Tom’s Ph.D. dissertation, under Doug Bolger in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at Dartmouth College, examined patterns of spatial demography and site fidelity in a declining population of wildebeest in Northern Tanzania (the Tarangire Ecosystem, Tanzania). This project used a non-invasive photographic identification software program (Wild-ID) developed at Dartmouth to individually identify wildebeest by their shoulder stripe patterns. In 2009, with support from WCS-Tarangire Elephant Project, he initiated a wildebeest GPS collaring effort to help characterize fine-scale movement patterns and larger-scale migratory pathways within the Tarangire Ecosystem. Prior to his PhD research, he spent a year studying elephant behavior and genetics in Amboseli National Park, Kenya as a field assistant for Beth Archie and Susan Alberts (Duke University), in collaboration with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

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Morrison TA, Keinath D, Zumpf-Estes W, Crall J & Stewart C. Individual identification of the endangered Wyoming Toad Anaxyrus baxteri and implications for monitoring species recovery. Journal of Herpetology, Accepted.

Anderson TM, Morrison TA, Rugemalila DM & Holdo RM. Compositional decoupling of savanna canopy and understory tree communities in Serengeti. Journal of Vegetation Science, In press.

Holdo RM, Anderson TM, Morrison TA. Precipitation, fire and shifting demographic bottlenecks in Serengeti tree populations. Landscape Ecology, In press.

Morrison TA, Bolger DT. 2014. Connectivity and bottlenecks in a migratory wildebeest population. Oryx, 48, 613-621.

Middleton AD, Morrison TA, Fortin JK, Kauffman MJ, Robbins CT, Proffitt KM, White PJ, McWhirter DE, Koel TM, Brimeyer D, Fairbanks WS. 2013. Grizzly bears link non-native trout to migratory elk in Yellowstone. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 280: 20130870.

Bendik NF, Morrison, TA, Gluesenkamp, AG, O’Donnell, LO, Sander, M. 2013. Computer-aided photo identification outperforms visible implant elastomers in a threatened Eurycea salamander. PlosOne, 8 (3) 1-9.

Sawyer, H, Kauffman, MJ, Middleton, AD, Morrison, TA, Nielson, RM, Wyckoff, TB. 2013. A framework for understanding semi-permeable barrier effects on migratory ungulates. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50, 68-78.

Morrison, TA & Bolger, DT. 2012. Wet season range fidelity in a tropical migratory ungulate. Journal of Animal Ecology. 81, 543-552

Bolger, DT, Morrison, TA, Vance, B, Lee, D, Farid, H. 2012. A Computer-Assisted System for Photographic Mark-Recapture Analysis. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 3, 813-822. 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00212.x

Morrison, TA, Yoshizaki, J, Bolger, DT & Nichols, JD. 2011  Estimating survival with computer-assisted identification and mark-recapture: the problem of misidentification error.  Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 2, 454-463.

Bolger, DT, Newmark, WD, Morrison, TA & Doak, DF. 2008. The need for integrative approaches to understand and conserve migratory ungulates. Ecology Letters. 11:63-77
doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01109.x.

Archie, E, Morrison, TA, Foley, C, Moss, C, & Alberts, S. 2006. Rank relationships among wild female African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Animal Behaviour. 71: 117-127. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.03.023

Morrison, TA, Chiyo, P, Moss, C, & Alberts, SA. 2005. Measures of dung bolus size for known age African elephants: implications for age estimation. Journal of Zoology, (London). 266: 89-94. doi:10.1017/S0952836905006631


Morrison, TA. 2010. Speaking out: weighing advocacy and objectivity as a junior scientist. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 1:50-51. 


Morrison, TA. 2011. Where the wildebeest roam: demography and movement of a declining migratory population in Northern Tanzania. Ph.D. Dissertation, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. 1:50-51

Scholarships & Fellowships

2012: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Excellence in Wildlife Conservation Award
2009: Switzer Fellowship, Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation
2009: Wildebeat Interactive Digital Art (co-creator), Neukom Institute
2009: Tarangire migration corridor research (Map); WCS-Tarangire Elephant Project, Tembo Foundation
2008: Earthwatch Institute: Saving the Tarangire Migration
2008: NSF Biological Instruments grant (co-authored proposal)
2008: Dartmouth Arts and Sciences Graduate Alumni Research Award
2008: Dartmouth NASA Space Grant, student award
2007: Ecological Society of America, Graduate Student Policy Award
2006: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Research Fellowship Program