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Dr. Matthew Kauffman

Dr. Matthew Kauffman


  • University of Montana 2004
  • University of California, Santa Cruz 2003
  • Ph D University of California, Santa Cruz 2003
  • BA University of Oregon 1992


Dr. Kauffman grew up in rural southern Oregon, the son of a horse logger and an elementary schoolteacher. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2003. Kauffman is a wildlife biologist with a broad organismal background. He has worked across a number of ecological disciplines, blending traditional fieldwork with ecological models to address conservation and management issues.

Research Interests

Matt leads a scientific team at the University of Wyoming that has broken new ground exploring the long-distance migrations of Wyoming's large ungulates and communicating their importance to the public. His research seeks to understand how and why ungulates migrate, by evaluating the role of forage, movement, fat dynamics, reproduction and survival. Increasingly, he has sought to understand how the persistence of ungulate migration is threatened by landscape change. In 2012, Matt co-founded (and now directs) the Wyoming Migration Initiative (, whose mission is to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Wyoming's migratory ungulates. Since 2006, Matt has worked as a USGS researcher with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and as faculty in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming; in 2010 he assumed leadership of the Wyoming Coop Unit.

Teaching Interests

I teach graduate courses in quantitative analysis of spatial wildlife data, community ecology of wildlife, and migration ecology.

Research Publications

  • Kauffman et al. Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates
  • Jesmer, Brett and others. Ungulate migration is a cultural phenomenon.
  • Middleton and others. Green-wave surfing influences fitness in a large migratory herbivore
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Current Projects

Completed Projects


  • Readings in Habitat Ecology (2007)
  • Predator Functions (2007)
  • Conservation Biology (2003)
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Wyoming Other Professional Positions and Memberships

  • Matthew KauffmanGrant Reviewer, National Geographic Society ( - November 2011)

Wyoming University Committees and Workgroups

  • Matthew KauffmanMember, Search Committee, University of Wyoming, Renewable Resources (October 2006 - April 2007)

Technical Publications

  • 2012 Annual Report - Statewide Moose Habitat StudyAbstract |
  • 2012 Progress Report - WY Migration Initiative (6.13)Abstract |
  • 2012 Annual Report - Migration Corridors and Landscape Connectivity ProjectAbstract |
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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

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