Associate Research Professor of Biology, Pennsylvania State University

Derek E. Lee is a quantitative wildlife biologist with expertise in conservation biology and population ecology. Current research investigates Masai Giraffe and other large mammal populations within a fragmented landscape in Tanzania. This work examines how births, deaths, and movements of ungulates are impacted by increasingly fragmented wildlife habitat, and what conservation actions are most effective. He spent 10 years researching the impacts of climate and ocean conditions on survival, reproduction, and population growth rates of marine predators such as northern elephant seals, Common Murres, and Cassin's Auklets at the South Farallon Islands, California. His work was included in a conservation and management plan for seabirds in the California Current. He also studied migration of Black Brant in Humboldt Bay as well as fire ecology of small mammals in California's oak woodlands and California Spotted Owls in the Sierra Nevada. Dr. Lee is an author on more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and dozens of popular science articles.

Experience

  • 2010–present
    Chief Executive Officer, Wild Nature Institute
  • 2018–present
    Associate Research Professor of Biology, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2002–2010
    Quantitative Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science

Education

  • 2015 
    Dartmouth College, PhD, Biological Sciences
  • 2001 
    Humboldt State University, MS, Natural Resources Management
  • 1994 
    University of California Santa Barbara, BA, Anthropology

Publications

  • 2018
    Effects of post-fire logging on California spotted owl occupancy, Nature Conservation
  • 2017
    Season of birth affects juvenile survival of giraffe, Population Ecology
  • 2017
    A multi-method approach to delineate and validate migratory corridors, Landscape Ecology
  • 2017
    How many species of giraffe are there?, Current Biology
  • 2017
    Movements and source-sink dynamics among subpopulations of giraffe, Population Ecology
  • 2016
    Foraging habitat selection by California spotted owls after fire, Journal of Wildlife Management
  • 2016
    The occurrence and prevalence of giraffe skin disease in protected areas of northern Tanzania, Journal of Wildlife Diseases
  • 2016
    Precision, accuracy, and costs of survey methods for giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, Journal of Mammalogy
  • 2016
    Spatial variation in giraffe demography: a test of 2 paradigms, Journal of Mammalogy
  • 2016
    Survival probabilities and movements of harbor seals in central California, Marine Mammal Science
  • 2016
    Soil correlates and mortality from giraffe skin disease in Tanzania, Journal of Wildlife Diseases
  • 2016
    Giraffe demography and population ecology, Reference Module in Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies
  • 2016
    Migratory herds of wildebeest and zebra indirectly affect juvenile survival of giraffes, Ecology and Evolution
  • 2016
    Giraffa camelopardalis, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • 2015
    Occupancy of California Spotted Owl sites following a large fire in the Sierra Nevada, California, Condor
  • 2013
    Diet and home range of California Spotted Owls in a burned forest, Western Birds
  • 2013
    Influence of fire and salvage logging on site occupancy of Spotted Owls in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California, Journal of Wildlife Management
  • 2012
    A computer-assisted system for photographic mark-recapture analysis, Methods in Ecology and Evolution
  • 2012
    Dynamics of California Spotted Owl breeding-season site occupancy in burned forests, Condor
  • 2012
    Recruitment of Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus): Individual age and parental age effects, Auk
  • 2012
    Growth, age at maturity, and age-specific survival of the Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris) on Southeast Farallon Island, California, Journal of Herpetology
  • 2011
    Effects of environmental variability and breeding experience on Northern Elephant Seal demography, Journal of Mammalogy
  • 2010
    Winter movements by California Spotted Owls in a post-fire landscape, Western Birds
  • 2010
    Dynamics of White Shark predation on pinnipeds in California: effects of prey abundance, Copeia
  • 2009
    Habitat use and selection by California Spotted Owls in a post-fire landscape, Journal of Wildlife Management
  • 2009
    Influence of pre-fire tree mortality from insects and drought on burn severity in conifer forests of the San Bernardino Mountains, California, Open Forest Science Journal
  • 2009
    North Pacific climate mediates offspring sex ratios in Northern Elephant Seals, Journal of Mammalogy

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Ecological Society of America
  • American Society of Mammalogists
  • Wildlife Society

Research Areas

  • Forestry Fire Management (070503)
  • Zoology (0608)
  • Biostatistics (010402)
  • Ecological Applications (0501)
  • Ecology (0602)

Honours

Fulbright Scholar