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by Ledwell, Brian A last modified May 26, 2015 11:04 AM

M. Elsbeth (Misty) McPhee 

Profile photoAsst 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,WC 3 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 selective 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.  Currently, I am working with the whooping crane captive breeding program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center as well as using meadow voles in my laboratory to test behavioral change in captive-bred populations 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 260)

Principles of Wildlife Management (ES/Bio 314/514)

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

Science of Sustainable Food (ES 312)

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

Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ES 490)




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by Ledwell, Brian A last modified May 26, 2015 11:04 AM