Picture of Jerod Merkle

Jerod A. Merkle

Picture of Jerod Merkle

Hello! Welcome to my professional page. I have a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Arizona (2006), a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana (2011), and a Ph.D. in Biology from Université Laval, Québec (2014). I am a quantitative wildlife ecologist with broad interests in understanding how the movement of animals scales-up to population- and landscape-level ecological processes. My research is collaborative in nature and links ecological theory with empirical data to make scientific breakthroughs while providing useful knowledge for on-the-ground challenges in wildlife conservation and management. I have contributed to research on gray wolves, coyotes, black bears, bison, mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and caribou. Currently, I am working on a number of projects related to the ecology and conservation of animal movement and migration. For more information, please visit my professional website by clicking here.


Barocas, A., R. Hefner, M. Ucko, J.A. Merkle, and E. Geffen. 2018. Behavioral adaptations of a large carnivore to human activity in an extremely arid landscape. In press with Animal Conservation.

Middleton, A.D., J.A. Merkle, D.E. McWhirter, J.G. Cook, R.C. Cook, M.D. Jimenez, P.J. White, and M.J. Kauffman. 2018. Green-wave surfing increases fat gain in a migratory ungulate. Accepted with Oikos.

Johnson, A.N., E.A. Beever, J.A. Merkle, and G. Chong. 2018. Vegetation responses to sagebrush-reduction treatments measured by satellites. Accepted with Ecological Indicators.

Merkle, J.A., P.C. Cross, B.M. Scurlock, E.K, Cole, A.B., Courtemanch, S.R., Dewey, and M.J. Kauffman. 2017. Linking spring phenology with mechanistic models of host movement to predict disease transmission risk. Journal of Applied Ecology in press.

Merkle, J.A., J.L. Polfus, J.J. Derbridge, and K.S. Heinmeyer. 2017. Dietary niche partitioning among black bears, grizzly bears and wolves in a multi-prey ecosystem. Canadian Journal of Zoology in press.

Aikens, E.O., M.J. Kauffman, A. Merkle, S.P. Dwinnell, G.L. Fralick, and K.L. Monteith. 2017. The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore. Ecology Letters 20(6): 741-750.

Sigaud, M., A. Merkle, S.G. Cherry, and D. Fortin. 2017. Collective decision-making promotes fitness loss in a fusion-fission society. Ecology Letters 20(1): 33–40.

Merkle, J.A., J.R. Potts, and D. Fortin. 2017. Energy benefits and emergent space use patterns of an empirically parameterized model of memory-based patch selection. Oikos 126(2): 185–196.

Merkle, J.A., K.L. Monteith, E.O. Aikens, M.M. Hayes, K.R. Hershey, A.D. Middleton, B.A. Oates, H. Sawyer, B.M. Scurlock, M.J. Kauffman. 2016. Large herbivores surf waves of green-up in spring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283:20160456.

Merkle, J.A., M. Sigaud, and D. Fortin. 2015. To follow or not? How animals in fusion-fission societies handle conflicting information during group decision-making. Ecology Letters 18(8): 799–806.

Derbridge, J.J., J.A. Merkle, M.E. Bucci, P. Callahan, J.L. Koprowski, J.L. Polfus, and P.R. Krausman. 2015. Experimentally derived δ13C and δ15N discrimination factors for gray wolves and the impact of prior information in Bayesian mixing models. PloS ONE 10(3): e0119940.

Merkle, J.A., S.G. Cherry, and D. Fortin. 2015. Bison distribution under conflicting foraging strategies: site fidelity versus energy maximization. Ecology 96:1793–1801.

Losier, C., S. Couturier, M-H. St-Laurent, P. Drapeau, C. Dussault, T. Rudolph, V. Brodeur, J.A. Merkle, and D. Fortin. 2015. Adjustments in habitat selection to changing availability induce fitness costs for a threatened ungulate. Journal of Applied Ecology 52(2): 496–504.

Fortin, D., J.A. Merkle, M. Sigaud, S.G. Cherry, S. Plante, A. Drolet, M. Labrecque. 2015. Temporal dynamics in the foraging decisions of large herbivores. Animal Production Science 55(3): 376–383.

Merkle, J.A., D. Fortin, and J.M. Morales. 2014. A memory-based foraging tactic reveals an adaptive mechanism for restricted space use. Ecology Letters 17(8): 924–931.

Merkle, J.A., and D. Fortin.  2014. Likelihood-based photograph identification: application with photographs of free-ranging bison. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38(1): 196–204.

Merkle, J.A., H.S. Robinson, P.R. Krausman, and P. Alaback. 2013. Food availability and foraging near human developments by black bears. Journal of Mammalogy 94(2):378–385.

Merkle, J.A., N. Decesare, P.R. Krausman, and J.J. Jonkel. 2011. Predicting spatial distribution of human-black bear interactions across an urban area. Journal of Wildlife Management 75(5):1121–1127.

Merkle, J.A., P.R. Krausman, and M.M. Booth. 2011. Behavioral and attitudinal change of residents exposed to human-bear interactions. Ursus 22(1):74–83.

Merkle, J.A., J. Derbridge, and P.R. Krausman. 2011. Using stable isotope analysis to quantify anthropogenic foraging in black bears. Human-Wildlife Interactions 5(1):159–167.

Merkle, J. A., P.R. Krausman, D.W. Stark, and W.B. Ballard. 2009. Summer diet of the Mexican gray wolf. Southwestern Naturalist 54:480–485.

Merkle, J.A., D.R. Stahler, and D.W. Smith. 2009. Interference competition between gray wolves and coyotes in Yellowstone National Park. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87:56–63.

Nicholson, K.L., P.R. Krausman, and J.A. Merkle. 2008. Hypatia and the Leopold standard: women in the wildlife profession 1937-2006. Wildlife Biology in Practice 4:57–72.