Welcome to our new website, back at University of Montana!
After 3 wonderful years at North Carolina State University, in summer 2016 I got an unexpected opportunity to return to University of Montana. My position here allows me to continue my research as a Wildlife Biology Prof, while also working in the University Research Office to help catalyze cross-cutting research projects in global change and sustainability. The University of Montana has world-class strengths in these areas, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to leverage and extend those strengths with international collaborative projects.
Although we’re leaving behind the “Phenotron” we built at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, we’re building a Phenotron II here so that we can continue our experimental studies of the coat color molt and behaviors of animals that undergo seasonal coat color change. And we’ll continue our work on adaptation to climate change using the seasonal coat color system around the world, including weasels and hares globally, and Arctic fox in Sweden. (Check out our collaborator page!)
And of course our projects in central Asia continue to thrive, with multiple projects of big cats in Bhutan, and the elephant project in the northern India / Bhutan region (with my wife, Lisa, science outreach and community conservation facilitator extraordinaire).
Watch this website, and you’ll see the parade of productivity of amazing undergraduate, graduate students, postdocs and collaborators. These are some of the most talented people on earth, hailing from around the world and bringing energy and deep insights into wildlife population ecology and conservation science.
So that’s what this website will be about: to tell our story of our research, outreach, and activities to help move forward global conservation. I know we won’t capture everything on these pages, but we’ll try to grab the main threads. We’re also going to try to keep track of folks who have worked with the Mills lab group in the past, and then moved on to make their own terrific contributions. For example, we’re well into the hundreds of undergraduates and technicians who have been the lifeblood of our projects. We’re working to list them all and keep track, and maybe even have a reunion sometime soon. (So, if you have worked with us in the past, and we don’t have you listed, please let us know!).
Finally, I want to give a special shout out to Jennifer Feltner for again taking the lead to develop this website. And thanks to everyone else for all you do for conservation science. Y’all inspire me every day.
L. Scott Mills