Abby Nelson

Abby Nelson

Abby Nelson

Abby currently works as a Wolf Management Specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.  Abby received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 2002, and since that time has worked in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming on various wildlife related projects. Abby worked from 2004-2007 as a biological science technician for the Yellowstone Wolf Project on field studies of wolf behavior, kill rates, and prey selection. From 2007-2011, Abby coordinated the Absaroka Wolf-Livestock Project, a colaborative study between the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Wyoming.  This study examined patterns of wolf predation and habitat use in an area characterized by high levels of wolf-livestock conflict near Cody, Wyoming. She has also been involved with research on the Absaroka Elk Ecology Project in a shared study area of the two projects. In August 2011 Abby completed her master’s research in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Department of Zoology and Physiology. When she’s not working, Abby enjoys snooping around the mountains on skis, horses or on foot, and trying to catch dinner, whether it has fins or fur.


Nelson, A.A., M.J. Kauffman, A.D. Middleton, M.D. Jimenez, D.E. McWhirter, J. Barber and K. Gerow. In press. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Ecological Applications. View PDF

Nelson, A.A., M.J. Kauffman, A.D. Middleton, M.D. Jimenez snd D.E. McWhirter. In prep. A comparison of wolf depredation sites in areas with migratory and resident elk.

Fox-Dobbs, K., A.A. Nelson, P.L. Koch, J.A. Leonard. 2012. Faunal isotope records reveal trophic and nutrient dynamics in twentieth century Yellowstone grassland. Biology Letters 8:838 – 841. View PDF

Middleton, A.D., M.J. Kauffman, D.E. McWhirter, J.G. Cook, R.C. Cook, A.A. Nelson, M.D. Jimenez, and R.W. Klaver. In press. Large carnivore recovery and altered phenology reduce the benefits of migration for a Yellowstone elk herd. Ecology.

Hanauska-Brown, L., L. Bradley, J. Gude, N. Lance, K. Laudon, A. Messer, A. Nelson, M. Ross, and J. Steuber. 2012. Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2011 Annual Report. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Helena, Montana

Sime, Carolyn A., V. Asher, L. Bradley, N. Lance, K. Laudon, M. Ross, A. Nelson, and J. Steuber. 2011. Montana gray wolf conservation and management 2010 Annual Report. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Helena, Montana.

Smith, D.W., D.R. Stahler, D.S. Guernsey, M.Metz, A. Nelson, E. Albers, and R. McIntyre. 2007. Yellowstone Wolf Project: Annual Report, 2006. National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. YCR-2007-01.

Selected Presentations

“The influence of elk migratory patterns on wolf resource use in Northwest Wyoming.” The Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Lander, WY. November 2010.

“Migration patterns of wolves preferred prey influence wolf resource use.”  The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, Snowbird, UT. October 2010.

“Migration patterns of wolves preferred prey influence wolf resource use.”  The American Society of Mammalogists meeting, Laramie WY. June 2010.

“Wolf habitat selection in the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming.”  The Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Cody, WY. November 2009.

“Wolf habitat selection and predation patterns in the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming: Identifying the drivers of wolf-livestock conflicts.” The Wyoming Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Meeting, Sheridan, WY.  November 2008.

“Isotopic analysis of wolf and ungulate bones suggests a link between faunal change and nutrient cycling in Yellowstone grasslands over the past century.” Fox-Dobbs, Kena, A. Nelson, J. Leonard, P. Koch. Geological Society of America Denver Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, 2007.

“Wolves in Wyoming: A history of reintroduction, research, and wolf management”. 7-D Ranch, Sunlight Basin, Wyoming.  July – September, 2007 and 2008. (Weekly presentations to guests and ranch employees.)

Scholarships & Fellowships

2008: University of Wyoming Haub School Summer Research Grant
2008: University of Wyoming ENR Plummer Scholarship
2008: Fellow, Community Forestry and Envirionmental Research Partnerships
2001: The Colorado College Gaylord Grant
2001: The Colorado College Venture Grant
2000: The Colorado College Gaylord Prize

Current position

Wolf Management Specialist, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Wolf Program – Livingston, MT