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by Ledwell, Brian A last modified Sep 25, 2014 03:34 PM

M. Elsbeth (Misty) McPhee 

MistyAsst Prof Environmental Studies and Biology      

3448 Sage Hall

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI 54901



Click to view my schedule and CV.



My research

Long-term maintenance of captive populations, and release of captive animals into the wild, is one of many approaches to endangered species conservation. For conservation biologists working with captive populations, however, a fundamental question is: How has captivity altered the behavior, morphology, and physiology of captive-bred animals? Broadly, I am interested in how populations respond to rapid changes in their environment. Specifically, I have focused on this question of how animals respond when they are brought into captivity and when, generations later, captive-bred individuals are released back into the wild. Altered Microtus pennsylvanicusselective pressures and increased stress levels are often associated with novel captive environments thus potentially changing the expression and distribution of behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits. Such changes can have profound effects on the success of conservation programs that use captive-bred animals. Because experimental work should always be fleshed out with theory, and theory tested with experimental work, I have used a multi-dimensional approach that includes lab, field, and theoretical work to address these issues. I am currently building a lab at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in which I will test behavioral change in captive-bred populations of Microtus pennsylvanicus and measure survivorship upon release into controlled experimental enclosures in the field.  (Photo courtesy of Phil Myers and the Animal Diversity Web)


For a short video on my work, go to

vole crew after release on 17 Aug 2011

Korin's vole-in-a-jar

Vole crew after big release on 17 Aug 2011


Introduction to Environmental Issues (ES 101)

Environmental Science (ES/Bio 260)

Principles of Wildlife Management (ES 314/514)

Wildlife Behavior and Conservation (ES/Bio 318/518)

Environmental Science, Policy & Problem Solving (ES 370)

Sustainability of Food (ES 391)

Approaches to Resource Management in Tropical Ecosystems in Belize (ES 396)




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by Ledwell, Brian A last modified Sep 25, 2014 03:34 PM