Dr. David A. McCullough

Professor of Biology
Office: Science Center 157
Phone: (319) 352-8432
FAX: (319) 352-8606
Email: david.mccullough@wartburg.edu

Mail address
Biology Department
Wartburg College
100 Wartburg Blvd.
Waverly, Iowa, USA 50677

Advising Expertise
Environmental Biology
Physician Assistant

Courses Taught

BI 117 Environmental Biology
BI 151 Ecosystems, Cells and Evolution
BI 204 Conservation of Natural Resources
BI 207 Vertebrate Ecology of the Prairie (May Term)
BI 211 Genetics
BI 315 Ornithology (May Term)
BI 455 Methods of Biological Research
BI 456 Student Research


Research Interests
Currently I am involved with three major projects. 1--Examination of the effects intensely managed public green spaces can have on vertebrate populations living on or adjacent to them. In many urban and suburban areas, golf courses, along with public parks, provide the only remaining large green spaces available to endemic and migratory wildlife. As such, an understanding of their ecology and how it is managed should provide us with information as to their importance as refugia within regions of declining natural habitat. 2--The effect on fire management regimes on populations of the threatened Bailey's woodrat. This subspecies of the Eastern woodrat is restricted to a narrow region of the Niobrara river valley in N. Central Nebraska. This area has historically been shaped by fires sweeping across the north central and sand-hill mixed grass prairies flanking the valley. Until recently fire has been suppressed in the area. The purpose of this study is to examine the response and adaptation of woodrats to a renewed fire regime and assess any impact fire has on population morbidity and stability. 3-Assessment of public lands for their ability to support stable vertebrate populations. Often times public lands serve as multi-use recreation areas and thus their management can drastically impact natural populations of organisms. This is particularly true for species sensitive to perturbation. Conversely, these public parks, reserves and spaces are often times the only adequate habitat for miles around in a severely fragmented ecosystem. Thus, assessment of the role they play in maintaining native populations is critical in our understanding the ecology of such areas and the role they play in modern ecosystems.

In addition I have strong interests in the areas of evolutionary and conservation genetics. By using molecular approaches to answer genetic questions, I hope to broaden our knowledge of the evolutionary history and genetic structure of natural populations. It is also important to understand the genetic components of population structure, which will allow us to make informed decisions concerning the protection and management of both wild and captive populations of organisms.