Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Waldemar Ortiz-Calo

University of Montana – M.S. Student in Wildlife Biology - Projected to Graduate 2023
Project Title: Impacts of Inter-Individual Variation in White-Tailed Deer Spatial Ecology and Survival

I was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Thanks to my parents, the outdoors was a staple in our household. My weekends were full of outdoor adventures to the diverse ecosystems that my home has to offer. As I matured, I decided to turn my passion into a profession. That is when I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. During my undergraduate degree, I was mentored by Dr. Robert Montgomery in the Research on the Ecology of Carnivores and their Prey Laboratory (ReCAP). After completing my degree, I worked as the field lead of the Nevada Black Bear Project for two years. In August of 2020, I joined the Boone and Crockett Wildlife Conservation Program at the University of Montana as a master’s student with Dr. Joshua Millspaugh. My long-term goal is to continue working as a spatial ecologist with research that is pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery. Additionally, I would like to pursue a position within academia to empower and train underrepresented groups within wildlife research.

Impacts of Inter-Individual Variation in White-Tailed Deer Spatial Ecology and Survival

Historically, the field of wildlife spatial ecology has been focused on the mean expression of spatial behaviors within a population. However, recent ecological literature has found that understanding the variation around the mean has significant advantages and could provide novel inferences to wildlife management. My research is focused on identifying the drivers of said variation and quantifying the implications of not accounting for it in commonly used analyses. I am pursuing these research questions within two distinct white-tailed deer populations in Missouri. The results of my work will be used to further inform management decisions and to provide a coherent framework that considers the impacts of inter-individual variation in the quantitative measurement of wildlife spatial processes. Specific objectives for this research project include evaluating the impacts of animal individuality on (1) animal resource selection, (2) home range, and (3) survival analyses.


Support Conservation

Support Hunting

Support Conservation

Support Education

"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt