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Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson

​​Wildlife Researcher, Ungulates/Carnivores​​


  • Ph.D., Wildlife Biology — University of Montana, 2010
  • M.S., Wildlife Ecology — University of Arizona, 2003
  • B.S., Biology – Ecology, Behavior and Evolution — University of California San Diego, 1999

Current or Recent Positions

  • Wildlife Researcher — Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2010-Present

  • Post-Doctoral Researcher — USGS Montana Cooperative Research Unit, University of Montana

  • Wildlife Biologist — California Department of Fish and Game

Current or Recent Research Projects

  • Black bear use of urban environments –assessing the role of human development on bear behavior and population dynamics and testing management strategies to reduce bear-human conflicts. Examining​ the relative influence of habitat, weather, land-us and predation on adult female elk survival and cause-specific mortality across the western U.S.

  • Determining the influence of different types of landscape change on mule deer recruitment across western Colorado.

  • Finding solutions for reducing elk and deer damage to high-value agricultural resources.

  • Identifying the demographic, habitat, predation, and genetic factors affecting population performance and recovery in federally endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.​

​​Areas of Interest, Expertise

Population ecology, resource selection, animal behavior, conservation genetics, predator-prey relationships, wildlife-human conflicts, endangered species conservation, large mammal ecology and management.  

Selected Publications

  • Wolfe, L. L., H. E. Johnson, M. C. Fisher, M. A. Sirochman, B. Kraft, and M. W. Miller. Evaluation of an acepromazine and medetomidine combination (AcMe) for immobilization of Rocky           Mountain elk and black bears. In Press: Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

  • Johnson, H. E., J. W. Fischer, M. Hammond, P. D. Dorsey, W. D. Walter, C. Anderson, K. C. VerCauteren. 2014. Evaluation of techniques to reduce deer and elk damage to agricultural resources. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38:358-365.

  • ​Mills, L.S., and H.E. Johnson. Wildlife Population Dynamics. 2013. Pages 84-111 in P. R. Krausman, and J. W. Cain III, editors. Wildlife management and conservation: contemporary principles and practices. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

  •  Johnson, H.E., M. Hebblewhite, T.R. Stephenson, and D. German. 2013. Evaluating apparent competition in limiting the recovery of an endangered ungulate. Oecologica 171:295-307.

  •  Brodie, J., H. Johnson, M. Mitchell, P. Zager, K. Proffitt, M. Hebblewhite, M. Kauffman, B. Johnson, J. Bissonette, C. Bishop, J. Gude, K. Hersey, M. Hurley, P. Lukacs, S. McCorquodale, E. McIntire, J. Nowak, D. Smith, and P.J. White. 2013. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America. Journal of Applied Ecology: 50:295-305.

  •  Johnson, H.E., L.S. Mills, J.D. Wehausen, T.R. Stephenson, and G. Luikart. 2011. Translating effects of inbreeding depression on component vital rates to overall population growth in endangered bighorn sheep. Conservation Biology 25:1240-1249.

  •  Cahn, M.L., M.M. Conner, O.J. Schmitz, M.W. Miller, T.R. Stephenson, H.E. Johnson, and J.D. Wehausen. 2011. Disease, population viability, and recovery of endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:1753-1766.

  •  Johnson, H.E., L.S. Mills, J. Wehausen, and T.R. Stephenson. 2010. Population-specific vital rate contributions influence management of an endangered ungulate. Ecological Applications 20:1753-1765.

  •  Johnson, H.E., L.S. Mills, J. Wehausen, and T.R. Stephenson. 2010. Combining ground count, telemetry, and mark-resight data to infer population dynamics in an endangered species. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:1083-1093.

  •  Bleich, V.C., H.E. Johnson, S.A. Holl, L. Konde, S.G. Torres, and P.R. Krausman. 2008. Fire history in a chaparral ecosystem: implications for conservation of a native ungulate. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:571-579.​