George Wittemyer

Associate Professor

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Colorado State University

Research Interests

Increasing human driven pressures on natural systems are causing major ecological changes from the alteration of species life history strategies to, in the worst case, population collapse. The long term impacts of these changes on species survival and ecosystem functioning are largely unknown. Research in my group strives to provide greater understanding of the factors influencing ecosystems and the manner in which species respond to these influences, with the ultimate aim of providing empirical based information and strategies to address the many conservation challenges we face today. We work to actively translate these research outputs into policy and conservation actions.

Current Research Directions


-        Influence of Ecological Dynamics on Population Spatial, Demographic, and Social Properties


-        Movement Ecology


-        Human-Wildlife Interface

-        Conservation Policy

-        African Elephants and other large mammals

Selected Publications

Wittemyer, G., Daballen, D., and Douglas-Hamilton, I. 2013. Comparative demography of an at risk African elephant population. PLoS One 8(1):e53726


Wittemyer, G., Polansky, L., Douglas-Hamilton, I. and Getz, W.M. 2008. Disentangling the effects of forage, social rank and risk on movement autocorrelation of elephants using Fourier and wavelet analysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:19108-19113


Wittemyer, G., Elsen, P., Bean, W.T. and Burton, A.C.O. and Brashares, J.S. 2008. Accelerated human population growth at protected area edges. Science 321:123-126


Wittemyer, G., Getz, W.M., Vollrath, F. & Douglas-Hamilton, I. 2007. Social dominance, seasonal movements, and spatial segregation in the African elephant: A contribution to conservation behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61:1919-1931


Wittemyer, G., Rasmussen, H. B., & Douglas-Hamilton, I. 2007. The influence of primary productivity variability on female elephant reproductive strategies. Ecography 30:42-50


Wittemyer, G., Douglas-Hamilton, I., & Getz, W.M. 2005. The socio-ecology of   elephants: Analysis of the processes creating multileveled societies. Animal Behaviour 69:1357-1371