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

Ellen Aikens

Ellen Aikens


Ellen is currently working on her PhD through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming.

Research Interests

Her graduate research focuses on mule deer migration. Through her research, Ellen hopes to connect patterns of plant phenology to mule deer movement behavior, body condition, reproductive success and demography. Additionally, she will investigate how changing climatic conditions may affect migratory mule deer in the future. Before coming to Wyoming, Ellen worked at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s GIS lab, where she analyzed remote sensing and GPS telemetry data for conservation research projects across the globe. Ellen is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Berry Fellowship. Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ursinus College.

Research Publications

  • Jesmer, Brett and others. Ungulate migration is a cultural phenomenon.
  • Aikens E.O., Kauffman M.J., Merkle J.A., Dwinnell S.P.H., Fralick G.L., Monteith K.L. 2017. The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore. Ecology Letters 20(6): 741-750.
  • Merkle, JA and 9 others. Do large herbivores surf waves of green-up in spring?

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 17

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 4

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 17

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 107


Contact Information


Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. University of Wyoming
  4. Wildlife Management Institute
  5. Wyoming Game and Fish Department