Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Dr. Francisco Vilella

Francisco Vilella.


  • Ph D Louisiana State University 1989
  • MS Hofstra University 1983
  • BS University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez 1978


Research Interests

Population and Community Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation of Tropical Islands, Endangered Species Ecology and Conservation, Resource Selection by Vertebrates, Wildlife-Habitat Modeling

Neotropical Wildlife Management

Teaching Interests

Conservation Biology
Tropical Ecology

Professional Society Service

  • Neotropical Ornithological Society - Chair, Student Travel Award Committee, IX Neotropical Ornithological Congress. (August 2011 - October 2011)
  • Neotropical Ornithological Society - Member, Francois Vuilleumier Fund Committee for Neotropical Ornithology Research (January 2008 - January 2011)
  • The Wildlife Society - Member, Threatened and Endangered Species Committee (December 1998 - December 2002)
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Research Publications

  • Davis, J.B., F.J. Vilella, J.D. Lancaster, M. López-Flores, R.M. Kaminski, and J.A. Cruz-Burgos. Survival of White-cheeked Pintail ducklings and broods in Puerto Rico. The Condor: Ornithological Applications. Abstract | 
  • Palumbo, M.D., J.P. Fleming, O.A. Monsegur and F.J. Vilella. 2016. A GIS Model of Habitat Suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Caribbean Naturalist 36:1-10. Abstract | 
  • Strickland B.A., Vilella F.J., Belant J.L. 2016.
    Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based
    Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators. PLoS
    ONE 11(9): e0161814. doi:10.1371/journal.
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Completed Projects


  • Tropical Biology (2010)
  • Conservation Biology (2009)
  • Tropical Biology Seminar (2008)
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Mississippi University Committees and Workgroups

  • Francisco VilellaMember, Southern Forest Research Partnership Biodiversity Team. (September 2005 - September 2010)
  • Francisco VilellaMember, College of Forest Resources International Program Committee (May 2007 - May 2010)
  • Francisco VilellaFaculty advisor, Mississippi State University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society (August 2005 - August 2008)

Technical Publications

  • Vilella, F. J., and M. D. Palumbo. 2010. Rapid assessment and habitat suitability modeling for Solanum conocarpum in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Final Report Unit Cooperative Agreement 14-45-0009-1543-88. USGS Cooperative Research Unit, Mississippi State.
  • Vilella, F. J., and M. D. Palumbo. 2010. Influence of latitudinal and climatic variation on spring gobbling phenology of the Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo in Mississippi. Final Report, Project W-48-57, USGS Cooperative Research Unit, Mississippi State.
  • Vilella, F. J., and R. González. 2009. Geographic distribution of the Puerto Rican Nightjar: a patch occupancy approach. Final Report, Cooperative Agreement No. 011406-001, USGS Biological Resources Division, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Mississippi State, MS. 23 pp.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 8

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 16

Scientific Publications: 61

Presentations: 74

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
  2. Mississippi State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute