Joseph Northrup

Research Scientist wildlife research & monitoring section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


My research is focused on understanding the influence of humans on the spatial ecology of wildlife species. The dominant drivers of global environmental change can be measured spatially, and thus a spatial approach is a natural way to understand species responses. Most of my work uses global positioning system radio collar data to understand how species move through and select habitat in landscapes that have been modified by human activities in some way. My research is applied in nature and I aim to address research questions that have meaningful links to conservation policy and wildlife management.

My current research projects span a broad range of taxa and ecosystems, but all are centered around understanding how human-caused environmental change has impacted the spatial ecology of species. I have active research projects on mule deer in Colorado, polar bears at the southern extent of their global range, black bears in Ontario and Marbled Murrelets in the Pacific Northwest.  

Selected publications

Northrup, J.M., Rivers, J.w., Yang, Z. & Betts, M.G. (2019). Synergystic effects of climate and land-use change influence broad-scale avian population declines. Global Change Biology.

Phalan, B.T., Northrup, J.M., Yang, Z., Deal, R.L., Rousseau, J.S., Spies, T.A. & Betts, M.G. (2019) Impacts of the Northwest Forest Plan on forest composition and bird populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

Bastille‐Rousseau, G., Douglas‐Hamilton, I., Blake, S., Northrup, J.M. & Wittemyer, G. (2018) Applying network theory to animal movements to identify properties of landscape space use. Ecological Applications, 28, 854-864.

Northrup, J.M., Anderson, C.R., Hooten, M.B. & Wittemyer, G. (2016) Movement reveals scale dependence in habitat selection of a large ungulate. Ecological Applications, 26, 2746-2757.

Northrup, J.M., Anderson, C.R. & Wittemyer, G. (2015) Quantifying spatial habitat loss from hydrocarbon development through assessing habitat selection patterns of mule deer. Global Change Biology, 21, 3961-3970.

Northrup, J.M., Anderson, C.R. & Wittemyer, G. (2015) Environmental dynamics and anthropogenic development alter philopatry and space-use in a North American cervid. Diversity and Distributions.

Wittemyer, G., Northrup, J.M., Blanc, J., Douglas-Hamilton, I., Omondi, P. & Burnham, K.P. (2014) Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 13117-13121.

Northrup, J.M. & Wittemyer, G. (2013) Characterising the impacts of emerging energy development on wildlife, with an eye towards mitigation. Ecology letters, 16, 112-125.