Mitchell Eaton is a Research Ecologist with the USGS Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and an adjunct faculty member in Applied Ecology at NC State University. His research focuses on wildlife ecology and management, emphasizing quantitative modeling to understand resource dynamics and use of decision-theoretic methods to guide management decisions under uncertainty.
Mitch earned a M.S. in Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota (2002; use of harvest data to assess sustainability of tropical vertebrates) and his Ph.D in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado (2009; population demographics, genetics and harvest management of African crocodiles). An interest in how policy makers actually use science to make decisions led him to a postdoc at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (USGS), where he worked with some of the top researchers in the field of decision theory to develop and apply quantitative decision-analytic tools for addressing resource management issues in the U.S. and globally. Mitch currently integrates his background and interests in population ecology with decision science to help managers and decision makers frame management problems, formulate approaches to predict outcomes and evaluate trade-offs, test hypotheses and improve decision making via adaptive management, and optimally allocate resources under uncertainty. Mitch is interested in bridging the science-management gap by working with decision makers early in their formulation of management issues and considering how science can most effectively support decision-making. He also has an ongoing interest in tropical ecology, crocodilian conservation and wildlife harvest dynamics.
Conservation and management of the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis): designing a monitoring program and occupancy models to test hypotheses of habitat and competition on patch occupancy and dynamics
Development of an adaptive management plan to restore the Herring River estuary, Cape Cod
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado
M.S. in Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota
Science and Products
Science and Products
Pre-USGS PublicationsEaton, MJ. 2012. Monitoring trends in hunting returns and harvest sustainability: catch per unit effort (CPUE). In Clark, C.J. and J.R. Poulsen (eds). Tropical Forest Conservation and Industry Partnership: an Experience from the Congo Basin. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.Laurance, W., Carolina Useche, D., Rendeiro, J. et al. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 489, 290–294 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11318Eaton, M.J., Meyers, G.L., Kolokotronis, SO. et al. Barcoding bushmeat: molecular identification of Central African and South American harvested vertebrates. Conserv Genet 11, 1389–1404 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-009-9967-0Mitchell J. Eaton, Andrew Martin, John Thorbjarnarson, George Amato. Species-level diversification of African dwarf crocodiles (Genus Osteolaemus): A geographic and phylogenetic perspective, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 50, Issue 3, 2009, Pages 496-506, ISSN 1055-7903, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2008.11.009