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Dr. L. E.

Dr. L. E. "Steve" Miranda Named SEAFWA 2020 C. W. Watson Award Winner

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) bestowed the Clarence W. Watson Award upon Dr. Leandro Esteban "Steve" Miranda during its 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28.

Miranda has been a prominent freshwater fisheries biologist for the USGS Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit since 1986.The award is the highest honor given by the Association and is presented in conjunction wit...


Scientists at work: Sloshing through marshes to see how birds survive hurricanes

Scientists at work: Sloshing through marshes to see how birds survive hurricanes

As Huricane Zeta menaces the Gulf Coast, residents know the drill: Board up windows, clear storm drains, gas up the car and stock up on water, batteries and canned goods.

But how does wildlife ride out a hurricane? Animals that live along coastlines have evolved to deal with a world where conditions can change radically. This year, however, the places they inhabit have borne the brunt of 10 named storms, some just a few weeks apart.

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USFWS director to MSU students: Collective efforts can 'tackle complex wildlife, conservation management issues'

USFWS director to MSU students: Collective efforts can 'tackle complex wildlife, conservation management issues'

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith smiles when she reflects on childhood summers spent at her grandfather's farm in Columbus. As one of the nation's leading natural resource professionals, Skipwith recently shared these memories and other insights with students in Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources as part of a special virtual seminar.

"Conservation and Mississippi are close to my heart. One of the ...


A New Face in Bird Research

A New Face in Bird Research

Murry Burgess was alone, reaching her hand into a swallow's nest from the top of a 16-foot ladder in a barn in rural North Carolina, when she realized something didn't seem right. Rather than the familiar texture of small chicks, she felt something smooth, slick and scaly.

"There is a huge black rat snake just sitting in the nest, chilling, after eating my research," Burgess said.

Eastern rat snakes (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) a...


Where Have All the Bucks Gone?

Where Have All the Bucks Gone?

It's finally here and it feels like you've waited all year for this. The trail cams have been set out for months. You've been watching. You think you know who's who. There's one in particular. A ten-point buck you've seen on the camera a half a dozen times at least. It's a perfect predawn Saturday with a calm breeze. You head to the blind. You wait and wait and wonder where has the buck gone?

This scenario happens more often than many hu...


Our People: Sean Moskal

Our People: Sean Moskal

Senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major Sean Moskal has three main passions which have all been cultivated by family: hockey, magic and the great outdoors.

A native of Germantown, Tennessee, he grew up playing hockey and attended Christian Brothers High School, where he was the starting goalie on the Frozen Wave ice hockey team that his uncle founded years earlier. His whole family loves the sport, and Moskal even has had th...


The Wildlife Society selects MSU College of Forest Resources faculty member as fellow

The Wildlife Society selects MSU College of Forest Resources faculty member as fellow

A Mississippi State College of Forest Resources faculty member is acquiring the prestigious title of fellow from The Wildlife Society.

Leslie Burger, assistant extension professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, will be honored at the organization's annual conference to held virtually Sept. 28-Oct. 2. As one of the highest awards bestowed by TWS, the honor recognizes Burger for her remarkable service to the wild...


MSU's Shamaskin selected for national marine policy fellowship

MSU's Shamaskin selected for national marine policy fellowship

Andrew Shamaskin, a Ph.D. candidate studying land conservation at Mississippi State University, has been selected as a finalist for the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. A panel of professionals selected him to serve as one of 74 fellows through a highly competitive process.

He will spend one year in Washington, D.C., gaining experience with the policy-making process in agencies and committees that deal with marine a...


Mississippi State develops smartphone app to assess wild hog damage

Mississippi State develops smartphone app to assess wild hog damage

According to a Mississippi State research study, feral pigs cause $66 million in property damage in the Magnolia State each year. With the wild hog population increases and damage estimates constantly changing, it's now easier to report and assess impacts with a newly designed MSU app.

The "Feral Pig Damage" app makes it easy for users to report the location of wild hog sightings and the damage they cause. Users can pinpoint or dra...


MSU invites community to report vultures

MSU invites community to report vultures

Vultures and airplanes have difficulty sharing air space. Now the predominantly black bird of prey may be sporting a bright orange wing tag, designed to help researchers study its flight path.

Scientists at Mississippi State are asking for citizen scientists to report sightings to help determine, among other things, the flight pattern of the mammoth bird.

Scott Rush, an associate professor in the wildlife, fisheries and aqu...


Tracking Beavers: Researchers study American beavers for wildlife management

Tracking Beavers: Researchers study American beavers for wildlife management

The American beaver, once prized for its pelt, is now frequently considered a nuisance for the extensive damage they can cause to crops, timber, and roadways. There is limited economic data on the damage caused by beavers, however, estimates for southern states reach millions of dollars.

Since beavers are a species of management concern across the U.S. and especially in the South, MSU researchers are investigating beaver ecology to help...


Legacy of the Lakes: How depth defines lakes in the Delta

Legacy of the Lakes: How depth defines lakes in the Delta

The hundreds of floodplain lakes that dot the landscape of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain between Cairo, Illinois and Baton Rouge, Louisiana tell a story that spans the ages. These lakes were created by the meandering of prehistoric river systems, the Mississippi River, and other contemporary rivers that flow through the valley to join the Mississippi River. While rich in legacy, lakes also serve as a water source for Delta farmers. Forest and...


From the Ground Up: MSU wildlife researchers use UAVs to help conserve bird species, habitats

From the Ground Up: MSU wildlife researchers use UAVs to help conserve bird species, habitats

Unmanned aerial vehicles are taking flight to aid Mississippi State researchers in a quest to improve grassland bird conservation, safeguarding the storied feathered vertebrates that are nationally in decline.

UAVs are assisting MSU researchers in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center in detecting quail coveys. The new method for estimating bird population also provides a faster, more accurate and less disruptive way t...


MSU's Kevin Hunt named Sharp Professor of Human Dimensions

MSU's Kevin Hunt named Sharp Professor of Human Dimensions

The College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University is honoring a wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture faculty member with the esteemed Sharp Professorship.

"We congratulate Dr. Kevin Hunt on this great honor," said George Hopper, dean of the College of Forest Resources and director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center. "For nearly 20 years, Dr. Hunt's research in human dimensions as it pertains to wildlife has helpe...


One-of-a-kind toad born through MSU pioneering technology that's saving threatened species

One-of-a-kind toad born through MSU pioneering technology that's saving threatened species

A Mississippi State University partnership with the Fort Worth Zoo has hatched the first of more than 30 metamorphosed toadlets produced through in vitro fertilization.

A Puerto Rican crested toad named Olaf, hatched at the Fort Worth Zoo this year, is what one might call a work of art. ART, or assisted reproductive technologies, developed by scientists in the university's Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the ...


MSU researchers make surprising wolf diet discovery, highlight ecosystem complexities

MSU researchers make surprising wolf diet discovery, highlight ecosystem complexities

Mississippi State University researchers are shifting commonly held ideas about the diet of grey wolves in a newly published article gaining national attention.

Published in the scientific journal "Ecology," MSU assistant professor Brandon Barton's Sept. 18 article "Grasshopper consumption by grey wolves and implications for ecosystems" details the unexpected effects of wolf reintroduction into the western region of the U.S.

MSU ...


MSU collaborates on $3.9 million NOAA grant to help Gulf Coast birds, conserve biodiversity

MSU collaborates on $3.9 million NOAA grant to help Gulf Coast birds, conserve biodiversity

Mississippi State University scientists are receiving a five-year, $3.9 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's RESTORE Science Program to increase understanding of how birds use the Gulf of Mexico, helping resource managers improve habitat for coastal species.

The MSU-led group is one of only four teams of researchers and resource managers from across 20 institutions including universities, federal and s...


A quill in the cap for quail management

A quill in the cap for quail management

A century ago, the bobwhite quail, named for its distinctive whistle, was common throughout the Southeast. In 1966, however, scientists began tracking a drastic population drop. Over the next fifty years, the species declined by 85 percent. Forest and Wildlife Research Center scientists are doing their part in restoration efforts of this granivore, whose storied legacy is steeped in tradition.

Not only was the bobwhite's song once ubiq...


MSU associate professor receives Fulbright grant for research in Chile

MSU associate professor receives Fulbright grant for research in Chile

An aquaculture scientist in Mississippi State's Forest and Wildlife Research Center is the newest university faculty member to receive the prestigious Fulbright grant to conduct research abroad as part of the U.S. Department of State's flagship exchange program.

The associate professor in the MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture in the College of Forest Resources is spending the next six months conducting research at...


MSU joins Urban Wildlife Information Network

MSU joins Urban Wildlife Information Network

Have you ever considered all of the wildlife that live hidden around your neighborhood, tucked in small patches of woods? Where does the raccoon that riffles through the garbage bin or the deer that eats your mother's azaleas go once the sun rises at dawn?

Researchers from Mississippi State University are teaming up with the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) to discove...


How to handle raccoons, snakes and other critters in your yard (hint: not with a thermos)

How to handle raccoons, snakes and other critters in your yard (hint: not with a thermos)

I heard a local story of a man who, in his excitement to kill a rattlesnake, used the only thing he had available&emdash;his thermos bottle. The next scene in this drama has the man in the hospital receiving anti-venom to treat a snake bite.

Encounters with wildlife are becoming more common in towns and neighborhoods as urbanization increases, and people often do not know what to do in these situations. Many species of urban wildlife, s...


MSU wildlife professor named Taylor Chair in Applied Big Game Research and Instruction

MSU wildlife professor named Taylor Chair in Applied Big Game Research and Instruction

A longtime Mississippi State faculty member has been named the Taylor Chair in Applied Big Game Research and Instruction in the College of Forest Resources.

Steve Demarais, a Dale H. Arner Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, is a leading white-tailed deer researcher who has been with the university for more than 20 years. In that time, Demarais has published more than...


Our People: Ethan Woodyard

Our People: Ethan Woodyard

For wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture senior Ethan Woodyard, the best part about his major and research opportunities in the College of Forest Resources is doing hands-on work.

"We're out in the field all of the time, and I really like that about the major," said Woodyard, who now has had two first-author manuscripts published on his parasitology research.

As a student worker with the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine's...


As nation celebrates independence, MSU students, employees prepare for Middle East deployment with Mississippi Army National Guard

As nation celebrates independence, MSU students, employees prepare for Middle East deployment with Mississippi Army National Guard

A year ago, Keanna Rush was preparing to enroll at Mississippi State University after taking time off from school to go through basic training and join the Mississippi Army National Guard and its 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). Shortly before the 2017 fall semester began, Rush learned her education would once again be placed on hold as her unit would be deploying to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

A Phil...


These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them

These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them

If the forests of South America are the world's lungs, their rivers and wetlands must be its veins and arteries. This is the most diverse continent when it comes to plant life, and it's thanks in part to the fish swimming through its waterways.

Freshwater fishes consume about 600 neotropical plant species. The largest of fruit-eating fish in Brazil''s Pantanal—a 70,000 square-mile floodplain the size of Washington state with as muc...


MSU takes all at Southeastern Deer Study Group competition

MSU takes all at Southeastern Deer Study Group competition

Faculty and students in Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources took top honors at the recent 41st annual meeting of the Southeastern Deer Study Group, marking the first time in the conference's four-decade history that one school has swept the competition.

MSU graduate students in MSU's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture took first, second and third place in the annual student oral presentation comp...


MSU research tracks turkey movement, habitat use

MSU research tracks turkey movement, habitat use

Turkey season opens on March 15, and hunters will take to the field in search of the elusive gobbler. Most likely, they will find less of the popular game species than in previous years due to changing landscapes.

For this reason, Mississippi State University scientists and student researchers in the College of Forest Resources, in collaboration with biologists in the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, are trac...


New MSU study evaluates wetland restoration efforts along Gulf of Mexico

New MSU study evaluates wetland restoration efforts along Gulf of Mexico

A new Mississippi State research project will study a wetland restoration approach along the Gulf of Mexico, and findings will help improve future environmental restoration efforts.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the organization's Gulf Research Program recently announced that the MSU project is among five newly funded projects focused on enhancing environmental restoration outcomes, along with two ...


No longer stumped: mineral stumps provide white-tailed deer nutrition

No longer stumped: mineral stumps provide white-tailed deer nutrition

It has long been a mystery why white-tailed deer devour the sprouts from recently cut tree stumps. A Mississippi State assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture has figured out why&emdash;and developed a simple, cost-effective management technique to help support white-tailed deer during seasons of poor forage.

Marcus Lashley said the tree species that populate southeastern forests are notoriously n...


MSU professor named St. John Family Endowed Professor

MSU professor named St. John Family Endowed Professor

A longtime Mississippi State faculty member has been named the St. John Family Endowed Professor of Wildlife Management in the College of Forest Resources.

Bronson Strickland, a wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture extension professor, has led a wide-ranging educational program in applied wildlife science since his arrival at MSU in 2006. In the last five years, he has participated in more than 70 workshops, assisting landowners with ...


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