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Dean Biggins, Ph.D.

Dr. Biggins is a scientist emeritus at the Fort Collins Science Center.

Dr. Biggins has been interested in grassland ecology since 1981. Within that broad topic his research has involved varied themes, including aspects of behavioral ecology, predator-prey relationships, and ecology of wildlife diseases. Most of his investigations have been motivated by their application to conservation and recovery of federally listed species. In that context, Dr. Biggins has worked at field study sites from Montana to Chihuahua, Mexico, as well as in Inner Mongolia and the Tibetan Plateau. Research has involved students at various universities (in CA, CO, ID, NM, MI, MO, TX, WY, France, and China). Taxa of interest have been carnivores (e.g., black-footed ferrets, Siberian polecats, badgers, weasels, coyotes, foxes), rodents, arthropods (fleas, ticks), and bacteria (Yersinia pestis). His present research emphasis is on ecology of plague, including its hosts and vectors, concentrating on maintenance of plague and its chronic effects on wildlife populations and ecosystems during inter-epizootic periods.

Professional Experience

  • Scientist Emeritus,  U.S. Geological Survey, 2019 - Present

  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, 2002-present

  • Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, 1996-2019

  • Research Wildlife Biologist, National Biological Service, 1993-1996

  • Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1976-1993

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Zoology, Colorado State University, 2000

  • M.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, 1975

  • B.S., Wildlife Management, Humboldt State University, 1968

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • American Society of Mammalogists, 1989 to present

Honors and Awards

  • 2012—Aldo Leopold Award, American Society of Mammalogists

  • 2005—Science Excellence Award of the Year, USGS, Biolo

  • 2004—Conservationist of the Year, Denver Zoological Foundation

  • 1998—Special Recognition Award, Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government