Roger A Powell
Department of Applied Ecology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Recipient of the Purple Baculum at the 90th annual meeting of the
American Society of Mammalogists at the University of Wyoming, June 2010

Roger A Powell

Roger A Powell
Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC 27695-7617
Phone (218) 235-8808
Fax (919) 515-5327
Email newf@ncsu.edu


Appointments

Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources, College of Forest Resources


Research Interests
      Over the past 40 years, my research has emphasized how limiting resources affect animals. I have learned that the energy budgets of fishers (Martes pennanti) are interdependent with their foraging choices and their sexual dimorphism in body size. Fluctuations in small mammal populations cause weasel populations never to have stable age distributions or survival schedules and significantly affect sexual dimorphism and mating patterns of weasels (Mustela spp.). Fluctuations in small mammal populations also allow the coexistence of more than one weasel species. Productivity of food explains whether black bears (Ursus americanus) defend territories or tolerate home range overlap and changes in productivity of food can affect intrasexual territoriality in a range of mustelid species. Tunnel systems, and not food, appear to be the limiting resource for woodland voles (Microtus pinetorum) and the low availability of tunnel systems delays dispersal in young voles, leading to cooperative breeding.
      During the past 2 decades, my field research has emphasized animals' home ranges and spacing: how animals space themselves on a landscape, depending on the home ranges of other individuals and on the distributions of pertinent resources. I now envision animals living in a fitness landscape where habitat value at each place is the potential contribution of that place to an animal's fitness. From 1981 through the early 2000s, my field research was on black bears. Over that time, my graduate students and I developed approaches to estimating fitness landscapes. Our approach and results can be applied widely and generalized to other forest animals. Beginning in 2009, I have multifaceted research aimed at applying these approaches to fishers (an instance of "back to the future"). The fisher research includes the reintroduction of fishers to the northern Sierra Nevada in northern California. I still do not know what a home range is but am convinced that animals continue to give us us clues. Studying my own home ranges has provides me with important insights.
      I continue to study weasels and their kin through cooperative research with Dr Carolyn King at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand, and through new modeling work and analysess.
      My research has led to diverse applications through state wildlife agencies, the USDA Forest Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service.
      I support using well-trained dogs in research.

GRADUATE STUDENTS
      Students in the graduate program at NCSU demonstrated their potential for graduate work through strong backgrounds in biological and other sciences from their undergraduate or MS programs and through good GRE scores, generally 1300 or above (Verbal plus Quantitative). I have a personal preference (not hard and fast) for students with broad backgrounds including interest in the humanities, languages, and math beyond calculus.

My present graduate students arre
      Aaron Facka (PhD)
      Ben Hess (MS)
      Scott Robertson (PhD)
      Aimee Rockhill (PhD)


Teaching
Behavioral Ecology of Mammals and Wildlife Management, field course taught
      occasional summers at the Wilderness Field Station of Coe College
      (formerly administrated by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest).
      This field station takes advantage of the adjacent Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
      for biology and other courses relevant to the wilderness setting. Other recent courses include
      Wetlands Ecology, Conservation Biology, Boreal Forests, History of the Wilderness Movement,
      and Northwoods Research Experience.
Former Teaching
Wildlife Management (FW/ZO 353); every Fall Semester
Mammalogy (ZO 544); every Fall Semester
Community Ecology (ZO 718); every other Spring Semester
Advanced Topics in the Study of Mammals (ZO 784); every other Spring Semester
      Recent offerings have been:
            Darwin Revisited [reading several of Darwin's books]
            Behavioral Ecology of Mammals
            Predation
            The Marsupial/Placental Dichotomy)


Some Recent Publications:

BOOKS

2012. Carnivore Ecology and Conservation: A Handbook of Techniques. Oxford University Press, London. (Edited by L. Boitani & R. A. Powell).

2012. Diverse perspectives on mammal home ranges. Editor for Special Feature in the Journal of Mammalogy(/i> 93: 887-958.

2010. Challenges and opportunities of using GPS-based location date in animal ecology. Special Feature in Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2155-2301. (Edited by Cagnacci, F., L. Boitani, R. A. Powell & M. S. Boyce).

2007. Natural History of Weasels and Stoats: Ecology, Behavior and Management. Oxford University Press, New York. (C. M. King & R. A. Powell).

1997. Ecology and Behaviour of North American Black Bears: Home Ranges, Habitat and Social Organization. Chapman & Hall, London. (R. A. Powell, J. W. Zimmerman, & D. E. Seaman).

1994. Martens, Sables and Fishers: Biology and Conservation. (Buskirk, S. W., A. S. Harestad, M. G. Raphael & R. A. Powell, eds). Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

1993. The Fisher: Life History, Ecology and Behavior, 2nd edition. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

RECENT PAPERS and BOOK CHAPTERS

2013. The effect of illuymination and time of day on movements of bobcats (Lynx rufus. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069213 (Rockhill, A. P., C. S. DePerno & R. A. Powell).

2013. Influence of environmental conditions and facility on faecal glucocorticoid concentrations in captive pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis). Animal Welfare 22: 357-368. (Scarlata, C. D., B. A. Elias, J. R. Godwin, R. A. Powell, D. Shepherdson, L. A. Shipley & J. L. Brown).

2012. Diverse perspectives on mammal home ranges or A home range is more than location densities. Journal of Mammalogy 93: 887-889.

2012. Foraging optimally for a home ranges. Journal of Mammalogy 93: 917-928. (Mitchell, M. S. & R. A Powell).

2012. What is a home range? Journal of Mammalogy 93: 948-958. (Powell, R. A. & M. S. Mitchell).

2012. Carnivore translocations and conservation: Insights from population models and field data for fishers (Martes pennanti). PLoS ONE: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032726. (Lewis, J. C., R. A. Powell & W. J. Zielinski).

2012. Humane and efficient capture methods for carnivores. Pp 70-129. In Boitani, L. & R. A. Powell (Editors). Ecology and Conservation of Carnivores: A Handbook of Techniques. Oxford University Press, London. (Proulx, G., M. R. L. Cattett & R. A. Powell).

2012. Movements, home ranges, activity, and dispersal. Pp 188-217. In Boitani, L. & R. A. Powell (Editors). Ecology and Conservation of Carnivores: A Handbook of Techniques. Oxford University Press, London.

2012. Relationship between fecal hormone concentrations and reproductive success in captive pygmy tabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis). Journal of Mammalogy 93: 759-770.

2012. Evaluating translocations of martens, sables, and fishers: Testing model predictions with field data. Pp 93-137. In K. B. Aubry, W. J. Zielinski, M. G. Raphael, G. Proulx, and S. W. Buskirk (Editors). Biology and Conservation of martens, sables, and fishers: A new synthesis. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. (Powell, R. A., J. C. Lewis, B. G. Slough, S. M. Brainerd, N. R. Jordan, A. V. Abramov, V. Monakhov, P. A. Zollner & T. Murakami).

2011. Black-footed ferrets and Siberian polecats as ecological surrogates and ecological equivalents. Journal of Mammalogy 92: 721-731 (Biggens, D. E., B. J. Miller, L. R. Hanebury & R. A. Powell).

2011. Mortality of Siberian polecats and black-footed ferrets released onto prairie dog colonies. Journal of Mammalogy 92: 721-731. (Biggens, D. E., B. J. Miller, L. R. Hanebury & R. A. Powell).

2011. Characterizing gonadal and adrenal activity b y fecal steroid analyses in pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis). General and Comparative Endocrinology 171: 373-380. (Scarlata, C. D., B. A. Elias, J. R. Godwin, R. A. Powell, D. Shepherdson, L. A. Shipley & J. L. Brown).

2011. A comparison of two field chemical immobilization techniques for bobcats (Lynx rufus. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 42: 580-585. (Rockhill, A. P., S. K. Chinnadurai, R. A. Powell & C. S. DePerno).

2010. Animal ecology meets GPS-based radiotelemetry: A perfect storm of opportunities and challenges: Introduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2157-2162. (Cagnacci, F., L. Boitani, R. A. Powell & M. S. Boyce).

2010. The home-range concept: Are traditional estimators relevant with modern telemetry technology? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2221-2231. (Kie, J. G., J. Matthiopoulos, J. Fieberg, R. A. Powell, F. Cagnacci, M. S. Mitchell, M. Basille & B Van Moorter).

2010. Habitat-performance relationships: Finding the right metric at a given spatial scale. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2255-2265. (Gailard, J-M., M. Hebblewhite, A. Loison, M. Fuller, R. A. Powell, M. Basille & B. Van Moorter).

2010. Building the bridge between animal movement and population dynamics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2289-2301. (Morales, J. M., P. R. Moorcroft, J. Matthiopoulos, J. L. Fair, J. G. Kie, R. A. Powell, E. H. Merrill & D. T. Haydon).

2009. Contributions of vital rates to growth of a protected population of American black bears. Ursus 20: 77-84. (Mitchell, M. S., L. B. Pacifici, J. B. Grand & R. A. Powell).

2008. Estimated home ranges can misrepresent habitat relationships on patchy landscapes. Ecological Modelling 216: 409-414. (Mitchell, M S & R A Powell)

2008. An evaluation of long-term capture effects in ursids: Implications for wildlife welfare and research. Journal of mammalogy 89: 973-990. (Cattet M, J Boulanger, G Stenhouse, R A Powell & M J Reynolds-Hogland)

2007. Understanding contributions of cohorts to growth rates of fluctuating populations. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 946-956. (Wittmer, H U, R A Powell & C M King)

2007. The optimal use of resources structures home ranges and spatial distribution of black bears. Animal Behavior 74: 219-230. (Mitchell, M J & R A Powell)

2005. Evaluating welfare of black bears (Ursus americanus) captured in foot snares and handled in winter dens. Journal of Mammalogy 86: 1171-1177.

2004. Home ranges, cognitive maps, habitat models and fitness landscapes for Martes. Pp. 135-146. In: Harrison, D J, A K Fuller & B J Hearn (editors). Martes in human altered landscapes. Columbia University Press, New York.

2004. A mechanistic home range model for optimal use of spatially distributed resouces. Ecological Modelling 177: 209-232. (Mitchell, M S & R A Powell).

2003. Linking fitness landscapes with the behavior and distribution of animals. Pp 93-123. In: Bissonette, J A & I Storch (editors). Landscape ecology and resource management: Linking theory with practice. Island Press. (Mitchell, M S & R A Powell).

2003. Trapping and marking terrestrial mammals for research: Integrating ethics, performance criteria, techniques, and common sense. Institute of Laboratory Animal Research Journal 44: 259-276. (Powell, R A & G Proulx).

2003. Reproductive success of male black bears. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 1257-1268. (Kovach, A I & R A Powell).

2002. Test of a habitat suitability index for black bears in the Southern Appalachians. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 30: 794-808.(Mitchell, M S, J W Zimmerman & R A Powell).

2001. Who limits whom: Predators or prey? Endangered Species Update. 18: 98-102.

2000. Animal home ranges and territories and home range estimators. Pp 65-110. In: Research Techniques in Animal Ecology: Controversies and Consequences. Boitani, L & T. Fuller (eds). Columbia University Press, New York.


Return to the NCSU Biology Department Faculty/Staff listing
Modified November 2013/ Roger A Powell / newf@ncsu.edu
photos (c) Roger A Powell except photo of RAP (c) Consie Powell
Click here to see photos exhibited December 2010 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science



The material on this site is not endorsed, sponsored, provided, or on
behalf of North Carolina State University