Dean Biggins, Ph.D.


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 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.

Recent Accomplishments


  • Ph.D., Zoology, Colorado State University, 2000
  • M.S., Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, 1975
  • B.S., Wildlife Management, Humboldt State University, 1968

    Professional Studies/Experience

    • Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1976-1993
    • Research Wildlife Biologist, National Biological Service, 1993-1996
    • Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, 1996-present
    • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, 2002-present


    Professional societies/affiliations/committees/editorial boards

    • American Society of Mammalogists, 1989 to present

    Honors, awards, recognition, elected offices

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

    • 2004—Conservationist of the Year, Denver Zoological Foundation
    • 2005—Science Excellence Award of the Year, USGS, Biological Resources Division, Central Region
    • 2012—Aldo Leopold Award, American Society of Mammalogists

    Scientific/Oral Presentations, Abstracts