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David Mech, PhD

L. David Mech (“Dave”) is a Senior Research Scientist with the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and works at the St. Paul, Minnesota duty station.

Dr. Mech has studied wolves since 1958 in Isle Royale National Park (1958-1961), Minnesota (1964 to present), Yellowstone National Park (1995 to Present) , Denali National Park (1986-1995). Each summer from 1986 through 2010, he lived with, and studied, a pack of wolves tolerant to humans on Ellesmere Island, in Canada’s High Arctic.  He chaired the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union from 1978 to 2013 when the group was absorbed into the Canid Specialist Group (CSG).  Dr. Mech is now an advisor on wolves to the chair of the CSG. He is continuing his research on wolf ecology and behavior, predator-prey relations, population regulation, and social ecology.

Professional Experience

  • Senior Research Scientist, 1999 to present; U.S. Geological Survey

  • Research Wildlife Biologist, 1969 to 1999; Biological Resources Division of the USGS (formerly Division of Endangered Species Research, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Degree, Wildlife Ecology, Purdue University, 1962, Lafayette, IN

  • B.S. Degree, Conservation, Cornell University, 1958, Ithaca, NY

Honors and Awards

  • Aldo Leopold Memorial Award - The Wildlife Society

Science and Products