S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources
Gavin Cotterill received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the Department of Wildland Resources in January of 2020. During the preceding four years he was a S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney doctoral research fellow working alongside Dr. Johan du Toit.
There he studied a globally-important zoonotic bacterial disease, brucellosis, and how the disease is able to persist and spread among wild elk herds that are fed during winter in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where the disease is locally endemic and expanding its range. He published three chapters of his dissertation in peer-reviewed journals, with another forthcoming. He is broadly interested in how disease transmission is influenced by ecological phenomena and animal behavior, and how understanding these factors can contribute to pragmatic management solutions that improve conservation outcomes, promote sustainable, healthy wildlife populations and increase human wellbeing.
During his time at USU, Gavin presented his work at regional and national conferences, including to multi-agency working groups and stakeholders, was a teaching assistant, facilitated a graduate student ecology group, reviewed manuscripts for peer- reviewed journals, and served on the Department Head search committee.