John Cook, Ph.D.

Principal Research Scientist, Large Ungulate Ecology
Location: Independent – Forest and Range Sciences Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service – La Grande, OR


Dr. Cook is a large ungulate ecologist with research interests regarding linkages between habitat conditions, and habitat change, on ungulate populations in the western US and Canada. His research emphasizes nutritional ecology of ungulates, with specific focus on how disturbance and forest succession influences through nutritional pathways the health, reproduction, and survival of large ungulates. Ungulate species of past and current research primarily include Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk, and, in Canada, woodland caribou. Dr. Cook developed strategies that integrate findings from captive-animal research of physiology, nutrition, and bioenergetics with wild-animal field research in ways that capitalize on the strengths of both. Captive studies involved the largest herd of tame elk in the world in the 1990s and 2000s and, more recently, tame caribou that were used in British Columbia and Ontario. These studies were combined with wild-animal studies across most of the western states (elk) and in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Ontario (caribou). He has been a member of The Wildlife Society since 1981.


PhD: Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming
Masters: Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming
Bachelors: Wildlife Resources, University of Idaho; Range Resources, University of Idaho

Research capabilities and/or focus areas

Nutritional ecology; forest ecology and management; modeling habitat-ungulate interactions

Awards and Career Highlights

  • The Wildlife Society’s Publication of the year award (2000)
  • The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Olaus J. Murie award (2009)
  • Wildlife Society’s Outstanding Service Award (2012)
  • Research and Development Deputy Chief’s Excellence in Science and Technology Honor Award; PNW Research Station (2012)
Phone: (541) 962-6536