Clint Otto

I am a Research Ecologist at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, North Dakota.  The principle goal of my research program is to investigate the impacts of land-use change on wildlife habitat and ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains. Much of my research focuses on the development of decision-support tools for informing natural resource policy and management.



Ph.D.  2012,  Michigan State University (Fisheries and Wildlife)

Ph.D.  2012,  Michigan State University (Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior)

M.S.    2006,  Towson University (Biology)

B.S.    2003,  University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (Biology)



2012-Present    USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (Research Ecologist)

2006-2008        USGS, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Biological Technician)

1999-2003        UWSP, Environmental Task Force Water Laboratory (Laboratory Technician)



Understanding how land-use change in the Northern Great Plains affects pollinator health and pollination services [View Research Video]

Improving forage for honey bees and native pollinators on federal conservation lands [View Research Video]

The Pollinator Library: A decision-support tool for improving national pollinator conservation efforts []


Spivak, M.S., Browning, Z., Goblirsch, M., Lee, K., Otto, C.R.V., Smart, M.D., Wu-Smart, J. (2017). Why does bee health matter? The science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it. The Council of Agricultural Science and Technology. QTA2017-1.

Iovanna, R., A. Ando, S. Swinton, D. Hellerstein, J. Kagan, D. Mushet, and C.R.V. Otto. (2017). Assessing pollinator habitat services to optimize conservation programs. The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) Report No. 0114-301b, Washington DC.

Otto, C. R. V., O’Dell, S., Bryant, R. B.Euliss Jr., N. H., Bush, R., Smart, M. D., (2017) Using publicly available data to quantify plant-pollinator interactions and evaluate conservation seeding mixes in the Northern Great Plains. Environmental Entomology, v. p.  565-578. (DOI:

Smart, M.D., Cornman, R.S., Iwanowicz, D.D. McDermott-Kubeczko, M., Pettis, J.S., Spivak, M.S., Otto, C.R.V. (2017) A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and ITS metabarcoding. Environmental Entomology, v. 46, p. 38-49. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvw159

Otto, C. R. V., Roth, C. L., Carlson, B. L., Smart, M. D., 2016, Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the northern great plains: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 113, p. 10430-10435. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1603481113.

Cornman, R. S., Otto, C. R. V., Iwanowicz, D., Pettis, J. S., 2015, Taxonomic characterization of honey bee (apis mellifera) pollen foraging based on non-overlapping paired-end sequencing of nuclear ribosomal loci: PloS one, v. 10, p. e0145365. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145365.

Otto, C. R. V., Roloff, G. J., Thames, R. E., 2014, Comparing population patterns to processes: Abundance and survival of a forest salamander following habitat degradation: PLoS ONE, v. 9, p. e93859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093859.

McNeil, D. J., Otto, C. R. V., Roloff, G. J., 2014, Using audio lures to improve golden-winged warbler (vermivora chrysoptera) detection during point-count surveys: Wildlife Society Bulletin, v. p. 586-590. doi: 10.1002/wsb.428.

Euliss Jr, N. H., Mushet, D. M., Newton, W. E., Otto, C. R. V., Nelson, R. D., LaBaugh, J. W., Scherff, E. J., Rosenberry, D. O., 2014, Placing prairie pothole wetlands along spatial and temporal continua to improve integration of wetland function in ecological investigations: Journal of Hydrology, v. 513, p. 490-503. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.04.006.

Otto, C. R. V., Kroll, A. J., McKenny, H. C., 2013, Amphibian response to downed wood retention in managed forests: A prospectus for future biomass harvest in north america: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 304, p. 275-285. doi:

Otto, C. R. V., Bailey, L. L., Roloff, G. J., 2013, Improving species occupancy estimation when sampling violates the closure assumption: Ecography, v. 36, p. 1299-1309. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00137.x.

Otto, C. R. V., Roloff, G. J., 2012, Songbird response to green-tree retention prescriptions in clearcut forests: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 284, p. 241-250. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.07.016.

Otto, C. R. V., Roloff, G. J., 2011, Comparing cover object and leaf litter surveys for detecting red-backed salamanders, plethodon cinereus: Journal of Herpetology, v. 45, p. 256-260. doi: 10.1670/10-039.1.

Otto, C. R. V., Roloff, G. J., 2011, Using multiple methods to assess detection probabilities of forest-floor wildlife: Journal of Wildlife Management, v. 75, p. 423-431. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.63.

Otto, C. R. V., Forester, D. C., Snodgrass, J. W., 2007, Influences of wetland and landscape characteristics on the distribution of carpenter frogs: Wetlands, v. 27, p. 261-269. doi: 10.1672/0277-5212(2007)27[261:iowalc];2.

Otto, C. R. V., J.W. Snodgrass, D.C. Forester, J.C. Mitchell, and R. Miller, 2007, Climatic variation and the distribution of an amphibian polyploid complex: Journal of Animal Ecology, v. 76, p. 1053-1061. 

Otto, C. R. V., G. J. Miller, 2004, Phylodryas viridissimus feeding attempt: Herpetological Review, v. 35, p. 277. 



Otto, C.R.V. and L. L. Bailey. September 2007. Anuran calling surveys: does increased survey duration improve detection probabilities? U.S. Geological Survey Technical Report. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD.   

Otto, C.R.V. and L.L. Bailey. August 2007. Summary report of the National Wildlife Refuge Anuran Calling Survey Program. U.S. Geological Survey Technical Report. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD.