Skip to main content

Dr. Eric Gese

Dr. Eric Gese focuses his research on the behavior, ecology, and management of wild carnivores, with particular emphasis on coyotes, wolves, foxes, mountain lions, jaguars, polar bears, and fishers. His research projects investigate basic and applied aspects related to increasing our knowledge and understanding of predator-prey relationships, predator-predator interactions, and human-wildlife conflicts. Dr. Gese is also a Professor in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University.

NWRC Research Project: Predator Management

Current studies include

  • Mountain lion population dynamics
  • Interactions of coyotes and kit foxes
  • Foraging ecology of mountain lions
  • Evaluating methods for monitoring wild carnivores
  • Ecology of urban coyotes
  • Use of glucocorticoids for measuring stress in carnivores
  • Behavioral plasticity and fitness of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea     


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wildlife Ecology
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S., University of Texas-San Antonio, Biology

International Experience

Brazil - Foraging ecology and space use of jaguars in the southern Pantanal, Brazil

Contact Information

  • Address: Predator Research Facility, USU-BNR 163, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5295
  • Telephone: 435-797-2542
  • Fax: 435-797-0288

Recent Publications


Alexander, P.D., and E.M. Gese. 2018. Identifying individual cougars (Puma concolor) in remote camera images - implications for population estimates. Wildlife Research 45(3):274-281. doi: 10.1071/WR17044

Byerly, P.A., R.C. Lonsinger, E.M. Gese. A.J. Kozlowski, and L.P. Waits. 2018. Resource partitioning between kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) and coyotes (Canis latrans): a comparison of historical and contemporary dietary overlap. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:497-504. doi: 10.1139/cjz-2017-0246

Gese, E.M., P.A. Terletzky, S.M.C. Cavalcanti, and C.M.U. Neale. 2018. Influence of behavioral state, sex, and season on resource selection by jaguars (Panthera onca): Always on the prowl? Ecosphere 9(7):e02341. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2341

Gese, E.M., W.T. Waddell, P.A. Terletzky, C.F. Lucash, S.R. McLellan, and S.K. Behrns. 2018. Cross-fostering as a conservation tool to augment endangered carnivore populations. Journal of Mammalogy 99(5):1033-1041. doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyy087

Lillie, K.M., E.M. Gese, T.C. Atwood, and S.A. Sonsthagen. 2018. Development of on-shore behavior among polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea: inherited or learned? Ecology and Evolution 8(16):7790-7799. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4233

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.


Bohling, J.H., L.L. Mastro, J.R. Adams, E.M. Gese, S.F. Owen, and L.P. Waits. 2017. Panmixia and limited interspecific introgression in coyotes (Canis lantrans) from West Virginia and Virginia, USA. Journal of Heredity 108(6):608-617. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esx068

Gifford, S.J., E.M. Gese, and R.R. Parmenter. 2017. Space use and social ecology of coyotes (Canis latrans) in a high-elevation ecosystem: Relative stability in a changing environment. Journal of Ethology 35(1):37-49. doi: 10.1007/s10164-016-0488-2

Kluever, B.M. and E.M. Gese. 2017. Evaluating the influence of water developments on the demography and spatial ecology of a rare, desert-adapted carnivore: The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis). Journal of Mammalogy 98(3):815-826. doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx038

Kluever, B.M., E.M. Gese, and S.J. Dempsey. 2017. Influence of free water availability on a desert carnivore and herbivore. Current Zoology 63(2):121-129. doi: 10.1093/cz/zow071

Lonsinger, R.C., E.M. Gese, L.L. Bailey, and L. P. Waits. 2017. The roles of habitat and intraguild predation by coyotes on the spatial dynamics of kit foxes. Ecosphere 8(3): e01749. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1749

Neuman-Lee, L.A., P.A. Terletzky, T.C. Atwood, E.M. Gese, G.D. Smith, S. Greenfield, J. Pettit, and S.S. French. 2017. Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology, 327(5): 333-346. doi: 10.1002/jez.2112

Poessel, S.A., E.M. Gese, and J.K. Young. 2017. Environmental factors influencing the occurrence of coyotes and conflicts in urban areas. Landscape and Urban Planning 157:259-269. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.05.022

Smith, T.N., E.M. Gese, and B.M. Kleuver. 2017. Evaluating the impact of an exotic plant invasion on rodent community richness and abundance. Western North American Naturalist 77(4):515-525. doi: 10.3398/064.077.0411   


Blackwell, B.F., T.L. DeVault, E. Fernandez-Juricic, E.M. Gese, L. Gilbert-Norton, and S.W. Breck. 2016. No single solution: application of behavioural principles in mitigating human-wildlife conflict. Animal Behavior 120:245-254. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.07.013

Blake, L.W. and E.M. Gese. 2016. Cougar predation rates and prey composition in the Pryor Mountains of Wyoming and Montana. Northwest Science 90(4):394-410.  doi: 10.3955/046.090.0402

Blake, L.W. and E.M. Gese. 2016. Resource selection by cougars: Influence of behavioral state and season. Journal of Wildlife Management 80(7):1205-1217. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.21123

Gese, E.M., P.A. Terletzky and S. M.C. Cavalcanti. 2016. Identification of kill sites from GPS cluster for jaguars (Panthera onca) in the southern Pantanal, Brazil. Wildlife Research 43(2):130-139. doi:10.1071/WR15196

Gese, E.M., B.M. Roberts, and F.F. Knowlton. 2016. Nutritional effects on reproductive performance of captive adult female coyotes (Canis latrans).Animal Reproduction Science 165:69-75. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2015.12.009

Kluever, B.M. and E.M. Gese. 2016. Spatial response of coyotes to removal of water availability at anthropogenic water sites. Journal of Arid Environments 130:68-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.03.009

Kluever, B. M., E.M. Gese, and S.J. Dempsey. 2016. The influence of wildlife water developments and vegetation on rodent abundance in the Great Basin Desert. Journal of Mammalogy 97(4):1209-1218. doi: 10.1093/ jmammal/gyw077

Lonsinger, R.C., E.M. Gese, R.N. Knight, T.R. Johnson, and L.P. Waits. 2016. Quantifying and correcting for scat removal in noninvasive carnivore scat surveys. Wildlife Biology 22:45-54. doi: 10.2981/wlb.00179

Poessel, S.A., E.M. Gese, and J.K. Young. 2017. Environmental factors influencing the occurrence of coyotes and conflicts in urban areas. Landscape and Urban Planning 157:259-269. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.05.022

Poessel, S.A., S.W. Breck, and E.M. Gese. 2016. Spatial ecology of coyotes in the Denver metropolitan area: influence of the urban matrix.Journal of Mammaolgy 97(5):1414-1427. doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyw090

Wolfe, M.L., E.M. Gese, P. Terletzky, D.C. Stoner, and L.M. Aubry. 2016. Evaluation of harvest indices for monitoring cougar survival and abundance. Journal of Wildlife Management 80(1):27-36. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.985


Gese, E.M., F.F. Knowlton, J.R. Adams, K. Beck, T.K. Fuller, D.L. Murray, T.D. Steury, M.K. Stoskopf, W.T. Waddell, L.P. Waits. 2015. Managing hybridization of a recovering endangered species: The red wolf Canis rufus as a case study. Current Zoology 61(1):191-205.  

Lonsinger, R.C., E.M. Gese, and L.P. Waits. 2015. Evaluating the reliability of field identification and morphometric classifications for carnivore scats confirmed with genetic analysis. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39(3):593-602.  doi: 10.1002/wsb.549  

Dempsey, S.J., E.M. Gese, B.M. Kluever, R.C. Lonsinger, and L.P. Waits. Evaluation of scat deposition transects versus radio telemetry for developing a species distribution model for a rare desert carnivore, the kit fox. PloS One 10(10): e0138995.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138995

Gese, E.M. and P.A. Terletzky. 2015. Using the "placeholder" concept to reduce genetic introgression of an endangered carnivore. Biological Conservation 192:11-19.  doi: 10.1016/jbiocon.2015.09.003

Lonsinger, R.C., E.M. Gese, S.J. Dempsey, B.M. Kluever, T.R. Johnson, and L.P. Waits. 2015. Balancing sample accumulation and DNA degradation rates to optimize noninvasive genetic sampling of sympatric carnivores. Molecular Ecology Resources 18:831-842. doi:10.1111/1756/0998.12356

Kluever, B.M., E.M. Gese,  and S.J. Dempsey. 2015. The influence of road characteristics and species on detection probabilities of carnivore faeces. Wildlife Research 42:75-82.  doi: 10.1071/WR14244

Poessel S.A., S.W. Breck, K.A. Fox, and  E.M. Gese. 2015. Anticoagulant rodenticide exposure and toxicosis in coyotes (Canis latrans) in the Denver metropolitan area.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51(1):265-268.  doi: 10.7589/2014-04-116.

Wolfe, M.I., D.N. Koons, D.C. Stoner, P. Terletzky, E.M. Gese, D.M. Choate, L.M. Aubry. 2015. Is anthropogenic cougar mortality compensated by changes in natural mortality in Utah? Insight from long-term studies. Biological Conservation 182:187-196. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.12.008.


Dempsey, S.J., E.M. Gese, and B.M. Kluever. 2014. Finding a fox: An evaluation of survey methods to estimate abundance of a small desert carnivore. PLoS One 9(8): e105873.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105873

Poessel, S.A., E.M. Gese, and J.K. Young. 2014. Influence of habitat structure and food on patch choice of captive coyotes . Applied Animal Behaviour Science 157:127-136. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.05.001.

Seidler, R.G., E.M. Gese, and M.M. Conner. 2014. Using sterilization to change predation rates of wild coyotes: A test case involving pronghorn fawns. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 154:83-92. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.02.006.

Gese, E.M., C.M. Thompson. 2014. Does habitat heterogeneity in a multi-use landscape influence survival rates and densisty of a native mesocarnivore? Plos ONE 9(6): e100500.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100500.

Dowd, J.L.B., E.M.Gese, and L.M. Aubry. 2014. Winter space use of coyotes in high-elevation environments: behavioral adaptations to deep-snow landscapes. Japan Ethological Society 32: 29-41. doi: 10.1007/s10164-013-0390-0.


Gese, E.M., J.L.B. Dowd, and L.M. Aubry. 2013. The influence of snowmobile trails on coyote movements during winter in high-elevation landscapes. PLoSone 8(12): e82862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082862.

Poessel, S. A., Gese, E.M. 2013. Den attendance patterns in swift foxes during pup rearing: varying degrees of parental investment within the breeding pair. Japan Ethological Society 31: 193-201. doi: 10.1007/s10164-013-0368-y.

Thompson C.M., Gese E.M. 2013. Influence of vegetation structure on the small mammal community in a shortgrass prairie ecosystem. Acta Theriologica 58:55-61. DOI: 10.1007/s13364-012-0098-5.


Complementary Content