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UW Researcher Receives Prestigious Wildlife Publication Award

March 10, 2016
man in helmet holding a live captured deer, with mountains in background
Kevin Monteith, with a deer, conducted his award-winning research on mule deer nutrition. (Tim Glenner Photo)

University of Wyoming biologist Kevin Monteith is co-recipient of a 2015 Wildlife Publication Award from the Wildlife Society for a 62-page monograph describing groundbreaking research on mule deer nutrition.

The winning monograph, titled “Life History Characteristics of Mule Deer: Effects of Nutrition in a Variable Environment,” was published in 2014 in the journal Wildlife Monographs. Monteith is the lead author, along with six co-authors, of the winning manuscript, which details a 13-year study of a migratory mule deer population in California’s Sierra Nevada.

The Wildlife Society is a 75-year-old international organization with nearly 10,000 members. It supports scientists, students and others working on important wildlife and habitat issues. Since 1940, the organization has given out annual publication awards to recognize excellence in scientific research, originality of thought and high scholastic standard. Previous awards have gone to the likes of Jane Goodall, Edward O. Wilson, George B. Schaller, Adolph and Olaus Murie, and Rosemary and Peter Grant, all acclaimed wildlife researchers and authors.

The mule deer research described in the winning monograph was conducted to inform better management and conservation for the species. The publication, based on analysis of the project’s massive data set, reveals a complex and nuanced picture of how nutritional condition of the female deer affected fawn survival and recruitment; how predation interplayed with other environmental factors; how the animals that migrated to the wetter side of the mountain divide fared compared to those on the drier side of the divide; and many other effects.

“As mule deer decline throughout the West, the findings from this paper could improve how wildlife managers determine -- and work to achieve -- population objectives for the species,” Monteith says. He adds that winning the award is a great honor.

“We hope that the recognition serves to elevate the awareness of the work, and that it might impact science and management of large herbivores in the future,” Monteith says.

Monteith is an assistant professor of natural resource science at the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, with a joint appointment in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the UW Department of Zoology and Physiology. He worked on the winning research project as a doctoral candidate at the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2011.

For more information, visit the Wildlife Society website at or contact Emilene Ostlind, Haub School communications coordinator, at or (307) 766-2604.

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