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Dr. W. David Walter

Office photo


  • Ph D Oklahoma State University 2006
  • MS University of New Hampshire 2000
  • BS SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry 1995


After finishing my Ph.D. I served as a post-doctoral Researcher at the National Wildlife Research Center for nearly 5 years. A majority of my research explores spatial ecology of various species throughout the U.S. using GIS to further our understanding of wildlife presence/absence, nutrition, and disease.

Research Interests

My primary research interests have focused on using various modeling techniques to understand spatial ecology of disease in ungulates in various regions of North America. I also use stable isotopes to understand movements, nutritional ecology, and effects of invasive species on native non-game species at the landscape level.

Teaching Interests

I teach graduate courses in spatial ecology, movement analyses, home range estimation, and disease epidemiology.

Professional Society Service

  • The Wildlife Society - The Wildlife Society - Newsletter Editor, Pennsylvania Chapter (March 2013 - March 2015)
  • The Wildlife Society - Contributed Paper Chair (March 2013 - October 2014)

Research Publications

  • Miller, W.L., J. Edson, P. Pietrandrea, C. Miller-Butterworth, and W. David Walter. Identification and evaluation of a core microsatellite panel for use in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). BMC Genetics 20:49.
  • Schneider, A.L., A.T. Gilbert, W.D. Walter, G.S. Vandeberg, J.R. Boulanger. Spatial Ecology of Urban Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in the Northern Great Plains: A Framework for Future Oral Rabies Vaccination Programs. Urban Ecosystems 22:539-552. Abstract | 
  • Miller, W.L. and W. D. Walter. Spatial heterogeneity of prion gene polymorphisms in an area recently infected by chronic wasting disease. Prion 13: 65-76. Abstract | 
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Completed Projects


  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2019)
  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2017)
  • Applied Spatial Ecology (2016)
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Technical Publications

  • Hopkins, M.C., Carlson, C.M., Cross, P.C., Johnson, C.J., Richards, B.J., Russell, R.E., Samuel, M.D., Sargeant, G.A., Walsh, D.P., and Walter, W.D., 2019, Chronic wasting disease—Research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019‒1109, 29 p., |
  • Carlson, C.M., Hopkins, M.C., Nguyen, N.T., Richards, B.J., Walsh, D.P., and Walter, W.D. 2018, Chronic wasting disease—Status, science, and management support by the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2017-1138, 8 p., |
  • Walter, W.D., C. W. Anderson, and K.C. VerCauteren. Recommendations for on-farm wildlife mitigation practices to prevent transmission of bovine tuberculosis between livestock and white-tailed deer. Final Report, Michigan Department of Agriculture-Animal Industry Division.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 20

Scientific Publications: 82

Presentations: 109


Contact Information

Tel: (814) 867 - 4763 Personal Web Site:

Links of Interest

Current Students

Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  2. Pennsylvania Game Commission
  3. Pennsylvania State University
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Geological Survey
  6. Wildlife Management Institute