MSU professor named St. John Family Endowed Professor

By: Karen Brasher

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Posted: 12/18/2017

MSU professor named St. John Family Endowed Professor Photo By: Submitted

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 improved game management. Additionally, he has been awarded more than $2 million in external grants and has produced 22 peer-reviewed technical publications.

Strickland, who also holds a research appointment in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, co-directs the Deer Ecology and Management Laboratory at Mississippi State, one of the premier deer management research units in the country. He works closely with Steve Demarais, a Dale H. Arner Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture and co-director of the MSU Deer Lab.

Together, they have developed three smart phone applications related to improved management of white-tailed deer, one of Mississippi's most economically important game species. The duo also began Deer University podcasts in 2017 to explain how individuals can use deer research to improve hunting and management experiences. Nineteen episodes are currently available for download at

"It is an honor to be named the St. John Endowed Professor of Wildlife Management," Strickland said. "I am so thankful to the St. John family for supporting wildlife education to ensure valuable resources are managed today and into the future."

The endowed professorship was established by MSU alumni Drew and Kathy St. John of Madison. The gift is especially important to the St. Johns, who are lifelong wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists. In maintaining a family farm near Louise, the couple also implements wildlife and forestry management practices with an emphasis on white-tailed deer and waterfowl habitats.

"Drew and Kathy St. John are special friends of our college and their ongoing support demonstrates their dedication to our university and the advancement of our state," said George Hopper, dean of the College of Forest Resources. "Their gift will forever have an impact on our students and faculty through enhanced learning, discovery and engagement."

Drew St. John, who currently serves as CEO of Jackson-based New South Access and Environmental Solutions, graduated in 1980 from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a bachelor's degree in landscape contracting. He was a 2017 MSU Alumni Fellow. During his time as a student, he served as the university's "Bully" mascot from 1976-1978.

A 1979 MSU College of Business marketing graduate, Kathy St. John is a retired contracts consultant for Kentucky-based NAPA HealthCare Connection, LLC. Beyond financially supporting MSU, she also serves on the advisory board for the business college's Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law.

Strickland earned his bachelor's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Georgia and a master's in range and wildlife management from Texas A&M University. He earned a Ph.D. in 2005 in forest resources with a concentration in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University.

Find out more about the MSU Deer Lab at

Wildlife and Fisheries