Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Mike Samuel


  • MS University of Idaho 1985
  • Ph D University of Idaho 1984
  • MS University of California 1980
  • BA University of California 1973


Dr. Samuel is a wildlife ecologist working primarily on wildlife disease epidemioligy, disease modeling, and related areas of wildlife ecology.

Research Interests

The epidemiology of wildlife disease involves a complex interplay among the disease agent, the environment, and the ecology of host species. In a broad sense, understanding key components of the dynamics within and interactions among these three components are crucial to an improved understanding of wildlife disease ecology. Dr. Samuel’s research program combines a variety of laboratory analyses, field investigations, and epidemiology modeling tools to address a broad range of applied research on the ecology of wildlife disease. Recent and current projects concentrate on increased understanding the complexity of disease ecology affecting wildlife species and the development of effective management strategies. Research topics typically involve questions related to disease transmission, disease reservoirs, host ecology, impacts of disease of wildlife populations, and epidemiological modeling.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are primarily in the areas of wildliife disease ecology and in the use of quantiative methods for teh design and analysis of wildlife research studies.

Professional Society Service

  • North American Waterfowl Management Program - Representative, Technical Committee, Arctic Goose Joint Venture Board (October 2006 - September 2007)
  • The Wildlife Society - Board Member, Biometrics Working Group (January 1988 - December 1989)

Research Publications

  • Blanchong, J. A., S. J. Robinson, M. D. Samuel, and J. T. Foster. Application of Genetics and Genomics to Wildlife Epizootiology
  • Samuel, M. D., J. Hall, J. D. Brown, D. R. Goldberg, and V. V. Baranyuk. The Dynamics of Avian Influenza in Western Arctic Snow Geese: Implications for Annual and Migratory Infection Patterns. Ecological Applications doi:10.1890/ES14-00393.1.
  • Liao, W., M. D. Samuel, O. E. Timm, C. Zhang,
    C. T. Atkinson, D. A. LaPointe. Will A Warmer and Wetter Future Cause Extinction of
    Native Hawaiian Forest Birds? Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/gcb.13005

  • See All ...

Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Design and Analysis of Wildlife Population Studies (2010)
  • Ecology of Wildlife Diseases (2009)
  • Emerging Wildlife Diseases (2004)

Wisconsin Wildlife Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Mike SamuelMember, Scientific Advisory Committee for PrioNet Canada (October 2005 - October 2009)
  • Mike SamuelMember, Wisconsin DNR CWD Health and Science Advisory Team, CWD Research Collaboration and Review Committee, and CWD Research Committee (July 2005 - September 2009)
  • Mike SamuelMember, USDA-NC1024 Multi-state Research Committee on Domestic Surveillance, Diagnosis, and Therapy of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (July 2006 - June 2009)
  • See All ...

Wisconsin Wildlife University Committees and Workgroups

  • Mike SamuelMember, Wildlife Disease Working Group, The Wildlife Society (July 2007 - June 2009)
  • Mike SamuelRepresentative, Department of Wildlife Ecology to the University of Wisconsin Conservation Health Consortium (July 2006 - June 2009)
  • Mike SamuelAlternate Member, Academic Senate (September 2003 - August 2005)

Technical Publications

  • Paxton, E. H., J. Burgett, E. McDonald-Fadden, E. Bean, C. T. Atkinson, D. Ball, C. Cole, L. H. Crampton, J. Kraus, D. A. LaPointe, L. Mehrhoff, M. D. SAMUEL, D. C. Brewer, S. J. Converse, and S. Morey. 2012. Keeping Hawai’i’s Forest Birds One Step Ahead of Avian Diseases in a Warming World: a focus on Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge: A Case Study from the Structured Decision Making Workshop, February 28-March 4, 2011, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii USA.
  • Conner, M.M., J. E. Gross, P. C. Cross, M. R. Ebinger, R. R. Gillies, M. D. Samuel, and M. M. Miller. Scale-dependent approaches to modeling spatial epidemiology of chronic wasting disease. Utah Division of Wildlife, United States Geologic Survey, and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Report, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Available at: or all of the websites/CWD_Spatial_Modeling.pdf.
  • Bollinger, T., P. Caley, E. Merrill, F. Messier, M. W. Miller, M. D. Samuel, and E. Vanopdenbosch. 2004. Chronic wasting disease in Canadian Wildlife: An expert opinion on the epidemiology and risks to wild deer. Final report to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre. July 2004.
  • See All ...

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 2

Phd Students: 0

Post Docs: 7

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 9

Scientific Publications: 38

Presentations: 73

Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. University of Wisconsin
  4. Wildlife Management Institute
  5. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources