Our People

 The deer research program at Mississippi State University began with the arrival of Dr. Dave Guynn and Dr. Harry Jacobson in the mid-1970s. The synergism between these two young research biologists spawned many unique projects that generated national attention. Guynn left for other employment, and Dr. Jacobson expanded the breadth of deer research projects over a storied 20-year fulltime career, followed by continued interaction as Professor Emeritus.

 Collectively, and working with numerous graduate students, cooperating agencies, foundations, and landowners, our current faculty have established the Deer Ecology and Management Lab at Mississippi State University as one of the premier deer management research units in the United States.

Staff


Bronson Strickland

Associate Extension Professor, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Phone Number:  662-325-8141
Email:  bstrickland@cfr.msstate.edu

Location:
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Box 9690
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9690
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Steve Demarais

Dale H. Arner Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management

Phone Number:  662-325-2618
Email:  sdemarais@cfr.msstate.edu

Location:
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Box 9690
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9690
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Garrett Street

Assistant Professor

Phone Number:  662-325-5801
Email:  gms246@msstate.edu

Location:
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Box 9690
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9690
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Garrett Street is a quantitative ecologist specializing in spatiotemporal dynamics in habitat selection and space use. His research focuses on linking fine-scale behavioral processes at the individual and population levels to broad-scale patterns of species distributions and abundance across broad geographic extents. He has addressed these issues using cutting edge statistical and simulation techniques in numerous deer species including moose (Alces alces), Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and is dedicated to developing new ecological knowledge that can be applied to the improvement of wildlife management and conservation through the Southeast.

Marcus Lashley

Assistant Professor

Phone Number:  662-325-5795
Email:  marcus.lashley@msstate.edu

Location:
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Box 9690
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9690
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Dr. Marcus Lashley started his career with a degree from MSU and returned in 2015 to serve as the wildlife habitat specialist in the department. Dr. Lashley earned his M.S. degree at the University of Tennessee and Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. His research has focused on several areas of deer behavior and diet selection, and habitat management with fire and timber harvests. Currently, he and his student Don Chance are evaluating the effects of forage availability and cover on deer habitat use following common habitat management practices.


Students


Jordan Youngmann

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York
Advisor: Steve Demarais

Can non-native deer be genetically distinguished from native individuals? And how did restoration efforts in the 1900s impact modern deer populations? Master's student Jordan Youngmann is working to answer these questions.

Youngmann's project has multiple objectives. First, he hopes to form a pictures of the genetic strains in today's deer by collecting samples from around the Southeast, as well as from other states around the US.

In the 1900s, deer populations were at an all-time low in the Southeast. In one of the most successful wildlife restoration efforts of all time, deer were imported from all over the country and released throughout Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. While past studies have shown that today's deer populations still reflect their mixed ancestry, Youngmann hopes to delve deeper into the question of how deer from northern states, with radically different climates and pathogen regimes, fared in the south.

By comparing the genetics of southeastern deer with those from stock sources (like Wisconsin, New York, and Texas), Youngmann may be able to find micro satellite markers that indicate a northern influence.

This study could provide important information to other restoration projects about whether individuals being transported into radically different environments can successfully contribute to repopulating the area.

He also hopes to determine whether micro satellite markers can be used to distinguish between generations of white-tailed deer, a tool that would help scientists figure out when non-native deer were introduced to native populations.

Finally, Youngmann will create a protocol for other scientists to follow in determining when non-native deer were mixed into the population.