CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

Alumnus Christopher Schell on the increase in coyote conflicts in Denver

Christopher Schell (PhD 2015) was recently discussed his post-doctoral research on urban coyotes with the Colorado Public Radio. In his post-doctoral position at Colorado State University, Christopher is part of the Denver Coyote Project, a three-year research project with the goal of understanding how agressiveness and boldness develops among coyotes in urban areas. Below is a excerpt from his interview. Click here to read the article. 

Ever wondered if the coyotes in your neighborhood are a threat to you or your pets? Scientists have the same question -- and that's why a team of researchers has launched the Denver Coyote Project to study Front Range coyotes for at least the next three years.

The hope is that the results will show how aggressive or bold coyotes develop in urban areas. To do that, the Denver Coyote Project is combining observations of the animals with an analysis of their genes and hormones.

"Hopefully, we can understand how problem animals are popping up, but then also how to prevent problem animals from popping up in the first place," said Chris Schell, a post-doctoral student at Colorado State University, who will lead the project on a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

The group will look at least five different cities in the Denver-Boulder area. Their work follows up on another study conducted between 2010 and 2014, which showed that reports of problems with coyotes were rare before 2005.

Click here to read the rest of the article or listen to the story.