Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

James Cain, III, PhD

Assistant Unit Leader - New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

James joined the New Mexico Unit as Assistant Unit Leader in 2010.  James' research interests are primarily in wildlife-habitat relationships, population ecology, and the influence of management practices on native wildlife species. He is interested in using a rigorous scientific approach to address both basic and applied questions related to wildlife ecology, conservation and management. In general, his research interests focus on understanding the effects of environmental heterogeneity on habitat selection, resource use, movements and the landscape-level distribution of mammals and birds. Specifically he is interested in studies on how spatial and temporal variation in habitat characteristics, resources and constraints on resource use (e.g., predation risk) influence the movement, habitat selection and distribution of wildlife. Furthermore, he is interested in determining how habitat selection, at the local and landscape scales, is related to demographic rates and population dynamics, including the relationships between habitat quality and metapopulation dynamics. Another area of research involves the influence of natural resource management activities on wildlife and he works with government agencies to assess the implications of current and future land use and management practices on conservation of wildlife populations and communities.

James has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach a range of courses and gain teaching experiences with diverse groups of students at both U.S. and international universities. His experiences include teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level and include courses in Wildlife Management, Field Methods for Wildlife and Conservation, Quantitative Biology, Wildlife -habitat Relationships, and Population and Community Ecology. His teaching interests include courses in large mammal ecology and conservation, wildlife-habitat relationships, field methods, and wildlife conservation and management.

Originally from Tempe, Arizona, Dr. Cain received graduate degrees from California State University-Sacramento and the University of Arizona. Dr. Cain was a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for African Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. before joining the New Mexico Unit as Assistant Unit Leader in 2010.