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Michel T. Kohl

Assistant Professor of Wildlife Management & Wildlife Extension Specialist

I was born and raised on the Ft. Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Reservation of rural northeastern Montana. I received my A.S. from Dawson Community College in Glendive Montana, and then my B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in 2009 and 2012, respectively. My M.S. focused on the conservation implications of bison reintroduction in central Montana and southern Saskatchewan. I obtained my Ph.D. in Ecology (2019) from Utah State University where I examined the behavioral response of elk to wolf and cougar predation risk in Yellowstone National Park. Over my career I have published over 20 journal articles and book chapters focusing on topics ranging from game bird management and predator-prey relationships to large mammal conservation and diversity and inclusion efforts. 

  • Ph.D., Ecology [Wildlife Emphasis], Utah State University 2019
  • M.S. Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, 2012
  • B.S. Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, 2008
  •  A.S. Honors, Dawson Community College, 2006
Awards, Honors and Recognitions:

2022 Faculty Award for Early Career Teaching

Selected Publications:

Below are a select list of recent papers on a few of my primary research topics. 

You can find a full list of my papers, all of which, can be download for free on my personal webpage (link below).

Rangeland Management Research:

2021       Lazenby, K., P. Coates, S. O’Neil, M. T. Kohl, and D. K. Dahlgren. Using habitat selection to guide release locations of translocated sage-grouse: a North Dakota case study. Ecology and Evolution.

2020       Picardi, S., T. A. Messmer, B. A. Crabb, M. T. Kohl, D. K. Dahlgren, S. N. Frey, R. T. Larsen, and R. J. Baxter. Predicting greater sage-grouse habitat selection at the southern periphery of their range. Ecology and Evolution10:13451-13463.

2019       Kohl, M. T., T. A. Messmer, B. A. Crabb, M. R. Guttery, D. K. Dahlgren, R. T. Larsen, S. N. Frey, S. Liguori, R. J. Baxter. The effects of electric power lines on the breeding ecology of greater sage-grouse. PLOS ONE 14(1): e0209968. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209968

2013       Kohl, M. T., P. R. Krausman, K. Kunkel, and D. M. Williams. Bison versus cattle: are they ecologically synonymous?  Journal of Rangeland Ecology and Management 66:721-731, doi: 10.2111/REM-D-12-00113.1

Predator-Prey Research:

2020       Gaynor, K., M. Cherry, S. Gilbert, M. T. Kohl, C. Larson, L. Prugh, J. Suraci, J. Young, and J. Smith. An applied ecology of fear framework: linking theory to conservation practice. Animal Conservation.

2020       Wilmers, C., M. C. Metz, D. R. Stahler, M. T. Kohl, C. Geremia, and D. W. Smith. How climate impacts the composition of wolf‐killed elk in northern Yellowstone National Park. Journal of Animal Ecology 89:1511-1519.

2020       Cusack, J, M. T. Kohl, M. C. Metz, T. Coulson, D. R. Stahler, D. W. Smith, and D. R. MacNulty. Weak spatiotemporal response of prey to predation risk in a freely interacting system. Journal of Animal Ecology89:120-131.

2019       Kohl, M. T., T. K. Ruth, D. R. Stahler, M. C. Metz, D. W. Smith, and D. R. MacNulty. Do prey select for vacant hunting domains to minimize a multi-predator threat? Ecology Letters 22:1724-1733.

2018       Kohl, M. T., D. R. Stahler, M. C. Metz, J. D. Forester, M. J. Kauffman, N. Varley, P. J. White, D. W. Smith, and D. R. MacNulty. Diel predator activity drives a dynamic landscape of fear. Ecological Monographs 88:638-652, doi:10.1002/ecm.1313

Diversity and Inclusion:

2022       Hessami, M.A., T.J. Werdel, S. J. Hoagland, and M. T. Kohl. Chapter I: Melding past, present, and future: the importance of tribal wildlife managemetn in widllife conservation and management. Introduction to wildlife management and conservation in North America. Eds. E. Gomez, C. Bishop, T. Ryder, and J. Organ. Great River Learning. 

2020       Stricker, H., P. M. Schmidt, J. Gilbert, J. Dau, D. L. Doan-Crider, S. J. Hoagland, M. T. Kohl, C. A. Perez, L. J. Van Daele, M. B. Van Daele, and D. Dupont Managing wildlife resources with North American indigenous peoples. In The Wildlife Techniques Manual 8th Edition. Eds. N. Silvy. John Hopkins University Press.

2017       Puritty, C., L. R. Strickland, E. Alia, B. Blonder, E. Klein, M. T. Kohl, E. McGee, M. Quintana, R. E. Ridley, B. Tellman, and L. R. Gerber. For diversity initiatives, current best efforts may not be enough. Science 6356:1101-1102, doi: 10.1126/science.aai9054

2017       Kohl, M. T., S. J. Hoagland, A. R. Gramza, and J. A. Homyack. Professional diversity: the key to conserving wildlife diversity. In On becoming a wildlife professional. Eds. S. E. Henke and P. R. Krausman. John Hopkins University Press.

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

My research generally focuses on wildlife spatial ecology, the fitness consequences of spatial behaviors, and the implications of those behaviors for the conservation and management of wildlife. Under this umbrella, most of my previous research has focused on developing a better understanding of wildlife-habitat relationships, as well as predator-prey relationships, for game species.  For these species, I am particularly interested in research that address wildlife conservation and management questions within multi-use landscapes. 

Some of our current projects include studying the effects of a new dog hunt on black bear behavior in north Georgia, urban wildlife behavior and conflict in Atlanta, and the spatial ecology of black vultures in the southeastern United States. I also collaborate with Tracey Tuberville and her students at the Savanna River Ecology Laboratory on various reptile projects.


My teaching largely focuses around upper division classes and graduate level wildlife courses.  These include a graduate level course on "Wildlife Habitat and Movement Modelling" (WILD 8321).  I also regularly serve as an instructor for Senior Project (FANR 4500S) in spring semesters. 


My outreach activities are largely driven by the needs of our stakeholder groups.  This may include directed research programs or perhaps partnering with ongoing research efforts to help in the dissemination of wildlife related science.  Current efforts focus around youth education, urban wildlife and various human-wildlife conflict issues (e.g., black vultures).  However, I also have a strong interest in education and outreach activities that bring wildlife and natural resource science to underrepresented groups. 


Professional Memberships:

  • The Wildlife Society
  • Society of the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

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