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Dr. Douglas C. Eckery


Dr. Eckery is an assistant director for the NWRC. He was the project leader for NWRC's Contraceptive Technologies for Use in Wildlife Population and Disease Management Project. His research is aimed towards the development of new methods of fertility control that can be integrated into wildlife management strategies. Dr. Eckery spent 17 years in New Zealand researching the reproductive biology of the brushtail possum and investigating methods of fertility control for this species, and he played a key role in establishing the National Research Centre for Possum Biocontrol.  He is an adjunct faculty of the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University where he is also an affiliated faculty of the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory.

NWRC Research Project: Contraceptive Technologies for Use in Wildlife Population and Disease Management Project

Current Research

  • Development of mucosal contraceptive vaccines using virus-like particles
  • Mechanisms regulating growth and development of primordial follicles
  • Use of GonaCon™ to manage wildlife populations (e.g. deer, prairie dogs, wild horses) and feral dogs


  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, Physiology
    M.S., Brigham Young University, Animal Science
    B.S., Brigham Young University, Animal Science

Contact Information

  • Address: Wildlife Services, NWRC, 4101 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521
  • Telephone: 970.266.6164
  • Fax: 970.266.6089
  • E-mail: 

Selected publications:

Baker, D.L., J.G. Powers, J.I. Ransom, B.E. McCann, M.W. Oehler, J.E. Bruemmer, N.L. Galloway, D.C. Eckery, and T.M. Nett. 2018. Reimmunization increases contraceptive effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine (GonaCon-Equine) in freeranging horses (Equus caballus): Limitations and side effects. PLoS ONE 13(7):e0201570. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201570

Davis, K.A., K.M. Klohonatz, D.S.O. Mora, H.M. Twenter, P.E. Graham, P. Pinedo, D.C. Eckery, and J.E. Bruemmer. 2018. Effects of immunization against bone morphogenetic protein-15 and growth differentiation factor-9 on ovarian function in mares. Animal Reproduction Science 192:69-77. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci. 2018.02.015

Young, J.K., M.J. MacGregor, E.N. Gese, and D.C. Eckery. 2018. Experimental tests of nonsurgical reproductive inhibitors to prevent coyote reproduction. Human-Wildlife Interactions 12(2):171-185.

Mora, D.S.O., M.D. Salman, C.A. Myrick, J.C. Rhyan, L.A. Miller, E.M. Saetre, and D.C. Eckery. 2017. Evaluation of antibody response to an adjuvanted hapten-protein vaccine as a potential inhibitor of sexual maturation for farmed Atlantic salmon. Fish & Shellfish Immunology 71:255-263. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2017.08.039

Pepin, K.M., A.J. Davis, F.L. Cunningham, K.C. VerCauteren, and D.C. Eckery. 2017. Potential effects of incorporating fertility control into typical culling regimes in wild pig populations. PLoS ONE 12(8):e0183441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183441

Taylor, L.H., R.M. Wallace, D. Balaram, J.M. Lindenmayer, D.C. Eckery, B. Mutonono-Watkiss, E. Parravani, and L.H. Nel. 2017. The role of dog population management in rabies elimination - A review of current approaches and future opportunities.Frontiers in Veterinary Science 4:109. doi: 10.3389-fvets.2017.00109

Evans, C.S., A.J. DeNicola, J.D. Eisemann, D.C. Eckery, and R.J. Warren.  2015. Administering Gona-Con™ to white-tailed deer via hand-injection versus syringe-dart. Human-Wildlife Interactions 9(2):265-272.

Massei, G., K-K. Koon, S. Benton, R. Brown, M. Gomm, D.S. Orahood, S. Pietravalle, and D.C. Eckery. 2015. Immunocontraception for managing feral cattle in Hong Kong. PLoS One 10(4):e0121598.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121598

Eckery, D.C., L.A. Miller, G.J. Killan, and A.J. DeNicola. 2014. Effects of vaccination against GDF9 and BMP15 on fertility and ovarian function in the white-tailed deer. Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference 26:391-395.  

Massei G, D. Cowan, and D. Eckery. 2014.  Novel management methods: immunocontraception and other fertility control tools. In: R. Putman and M. Apollonio, editors. Behaviour and Management of European Ungulates. Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath. 209-235.2013

Miller, L.A., K.A. Fagerstone, D.C. Eckery. 2013. Twenty years of immunocontraceptive research: lessons learned. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(4S): S84-S96. doi: 10.1638/1042-7260-44.4S.S84.

Crawford, J. L., B. J. McLeod, and D. C. Eckery. 2011. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis and Manipulations of the Oestrous Cycle in the Brushtail Possum. General and Comparative Endocrinology 170 (3): 424-448.

Crawford, J. L., B. Mester, B. Thomson, S. B. Lawrence, and D. C. Eckery. 2011. Prolactin Acts on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis to Modulate Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Gene Expression in the Female Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). General and Comparative Endocrinology 171 (1): 39-45.

Juengel, J. L., L. J. Haydon, B. Mester, B. P. Thomson, M. Beaumont, and D. C. Eckery. 2010. The Role of IGFs in the Regulation of Ovarian Follicular Growth in the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Reproduction 140 (2): 295-303.

Crawford, J. L., D. A. Heath, L. J. Haydon, B. P. Thomson, and D. C. Eckery. 2009. Gene Expression and Secretion of LH and FSH in Relation to Gene Expression of GnRH Receptors in the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) Demonstrates Highly Conserved Mechanisms. Reproduction 137 (1): 129-140.

Haydon, L. J., J. L. Juengel, B. P. Thomson, and D. C. Eckery. 2008. Expression of mRNAs Encoding Oestrogen Receptor (ER) α and ERβ, Androgen Receptor and Progesterone Receptor during Gonadal and Follicular Development in the Marsupial Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Reproduction, Fertility and Development 20 (3): 335-349.

Eymann, J., C. A. Herbert, B. P. Thomson, T. E. Trigg, D. W. Cooper, and D. C. Eckery. 2007. Effects of Deslorelin Implants on Reproduction in the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Reproduction, Fertility and Development 19 (8): 899-909.

Herbert, C. A., D. C. Eckery, T. E. Trigg, and D. W. Cooper. 2007. Chronic Treatment of Male Tammar Wallabies with Deslorelin Implants during Pouch Life: Effects on Development, Puberty, and Reproduction in Adulthood. Biology of Reproduction 76 (6): 1054-1061.

Crawford, J. L., B. P. Thomson, M. F. Beaumont, and D. C. Eckery. 2006. Plasma Concentrations of Prolactin in Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus Vulpecula) in Different Physiological States. Journal of Endocrinology 190 (2): 295-305.

Crawford, J. L., S. Lun, J. Demmer, and D. C. Eckery. 2005. Prolactin in the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula): Development of Homologous Radioimmunoassay using Recombinant Possum Prolactin. General and Comparative Endocrinology 142 (3): 297-307.

Shuttleworth, G., D. C. Eckery, and P. Awram. 2005. Oral and Intraperitoneal Immunization with Rotavirus 2/6 Virus-Like Particles Stimulates a Systemic and Mucosal Immune Response in Mice. Archives of Virology 150 (2): 341-349.

Wilson, J. D., G. Shaw, M. B. Renfree, R. J. Auchus, M. W. Leihy, and D. C. Eckery. 2005. Ontogeny and Pathway of Formation of 5α-Androstane-3α,17β-Diol in the Testes of the Immature Brushtail Possum Trichosurus Vulpecula. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 17 (6): 603-609.

Long-Term Effects of Deslorelin Implants on Reproduction in the Female Tammer Wallaby (Macropus Eugenii). Reproduction 129 (3): 361-369.

Herbert, C. A., T. E. Trigg, M. B. Renfree, G. Shaw, D. C. Eckery, and D. W. Cooper. 2004. Effects of a Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Implant on Reproduction in a Male Marsupial, Macropus Eugenii. Biology of Reproduction 70 (6): 1836-1842.

Western, A. H., D. C. Eckery, J. Demmer, J. L. Juengel, K. P. McNatty, and A. E. Fidler. 2003. Expression of the FcRn Receptor (α and β) Gene Homologues in the Intestine of Suckling Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) Pouch Young. Molecular Immunology 39 (12): 707-717.

Whale, L. J., D. C. Eckery, and J. L. Juengel. 2003. Determination of Steroidogenic Potential of Ovarian Cells of the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Biology of Reproduction 69 (3): 947-958.

Eckery, D. C., J. L. Juengel, L. J. Whale, B. P. Thomson, S. Lun, and K. P. McNatty. 2002. The Corpus Luteum and Interstitial Tissue in a Marsupial, the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 191 (1): 81-87.

Eckery, D. C., S. B. Lawrence, J. L. Juengel, P. Greenwood, K. P. McNatty, and A. E. Fidler. 2002. Gene Expression of the Tyrosine Kinase Receptor c-Kit during Ovarian Development in the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Biology of Reproduction 66 (2): 346-353.

Eckery, D. C., S. Lun, B. P. Thomson, W. N. Chie, L. G. Moore, and J. L. Juengel. 2002. Ovarian Expression of Messenger RNA Encoding the Receptors for Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone in a Marsupial, the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Biology of Reproduction 66 (5): 1310-1317.

Eckery, D. C., L. J. Whale, S. B. Lawrence, K. A. Wylde, K. P. McNatty, and J. L. Juengel. 2002. Expression of mRNA Encoding Growth Differentiation Factor 9 and Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15 during Follicular Formation and Growth in a Marsupial, the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 192 (1-2): 115-126.

Juengel, J. L., L. J. Whale, K. A. Wylde, P. Greenwood, K. P. McNatty, and D. C. Eckery. 2002. Expression of Anti-Müllerian Hormone mRNA during Gonadal and Follicular Developmental in the Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula). Reproduction, Fertility and Development 14 (5-6): 345-353.

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