Welcome! My name is Nathan (Nate) Hooven and I’m a wildlife ecologist. I earned my BS in zoology (specializing in wildlife biology and conservation) from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 2018. So far in my career I’ve been fortunate to work across the United States, aiding conservation, management, and research programs across a wide variety of wildlife taxa.

My primary interests are in the spatial ecology of mammals, especially herbivores. I seek to understand how animals interact with their environments across space and time, with a strong focus on applying this information directly to habitat management. Most of my work couples tracking data from animal-borne devices with remotely sensed environmental datasets to model patterns of animal movement and habitat selection in a variety of landscapes. I am particularly interested in developing models of habitat suitability, forage availability, and risk to gain a more complete picture of the ecological factors influencing the space use, survival, and reproduction of herbivorous mammal species.

I strive for my research to (1) provide rigorous scientific evidence to inform habitat conservation and management, and (2) further our collective understanding of the ecology and natural history of these amazing animals and the wild places they inhabit. As the world's lands and climate rapidly change, I believe it is more critical than ever to learn as much as we can about the organisms and ecosystems we share the planet with.

I also believe that science in general (and wildlife science specifically) should be for everyone, and we as biologists need to step up and address (1) disconnects between academic/government wildlife research and on-the-ground management and conservation, (2) the communication gap between wildlife scientists, managers, and stakeholders, and (3), the shifting demographics in the wildlife profession and the pressing need for the dismantling of systemic barriers to success for historically-excluded groups. It is the job of all of us to work towards a more open, welcoming, inclusive future in wildlife science, but the burden is on those of us in positions of power and privilege to change the paradigm.

Currently, I am a graduate research assistant and master’s student with the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY). For my thesis research, I'm studying the spatial ecology of female Rocky Mountain elk in southeastern Kentucky. Feel free to contact me via email or one of the sites listed below with any questions or inquiries. Thanks for visiting!

Nathan D. Hooven (he/him)

Graduate Research Assistant

MS Student, Forest and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY


Research highlights:

Elk calving habitat in Kentucky

Natal habitat preference in Illinois deer

Forest management and snowshoe hares: COMING SOON!