David McCullough

Professor of Biology

More about David McCullough

B.A., 1982, University of Dallas
M.S., 1985, Ph.D., 1991, Texas Tech University

Research Interests
Currently I am involved with assessment of public lands both rural and urban (including those mitigated for development projects) for their ability to support stable vertebrate populations. Often 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 and reserves 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 urban areas the emphasis is on examination of the effects intensely managed urban green spaces can have on populations of mammals living on or adjacent to them. In many urban and suburban areas, golf courses, along with public parks and corporate lawns, 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. A corollary to this is collaborative research with watershed ecologist Eric Merten. We are examining the success of restoration of native conifers in national forest land in Northern Minnesota. I continue to have strong interest 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. Currently I am looking at genetic variation within and between populations of three organisms: the isolated Bailey’s Woodrat populations in N. Central Nebraska, a population of a threatened rattlesnake (Eastern Massauga), one of perhaps only two remaining populations in Iowa and populations of a native invasive, the Rusty Crayfish, recently introduced into NE Iowa watersheds.

Advising Expertise
Environmental Science and Studies
Physician Assistant

Courses Taught
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
ENV 100 Explorations in Environmental Science and Studies
ENV 460 Perspectives in Environmental Science and Studies; Capstone