Dr. Jerrold Belant will join the ESF faculty as the College’s first Camp Fire Professor of Wildlife Conservation. The professorship is an endowed position created in partnership with the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the ESF Roosevelt Wild Life Station.
Belant’s expertise lies in the ecology, conservation and management of the world’s large mammals. He has studied brown bear, black bear, deer, elk, moose, wolf and coyote across North America and, more recently, lions in Tanzania. Although large mammals and predator-prey dynamics are his passion, his expertise extends to upland game birds and mesocarnivores (animals whose diet mainly consists of meat with the balance made up of fungi, and fruits and other plant material) in North America, Central America, South America, Borneo and Nepal. He is versed in issues such as mitigating wildlife airstrike hazards and the habitat value of biofuel production. Belant has taught courses in the ecology and management of human-wildlife conflicts, carnivore ecology and conservation, ecological theory in natural resource management, wildlife ecology in Serengeti and mammalogy.
Belant has served in editorial roles for several peer-reviewed journals, as a member of the Council for the International Association of Bear Research and Management, and as chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission’s Small Carnivore Specialist Group. He has earned numerous awards recognizing his research, publications and service, mentored more than 30 graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, and published three books and more than 250 journal articles and book chapters.
Belant received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and his Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Most recently, Belant was the Dale H. Arner Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University, where he worked as a professor since 2008. Previously, he worked as a professional biologist with the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Fond du Lac Natural Resources Department.