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Michael C. Runge

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708

Photo of Michael C. Runge

Telephone: 301-497-5748

Fax: 301-497-5545


Ecologist (Research)

Primary Responsibilities: 
Research on problems in quantitative ecology related to adaptive management of wildlife resources.  Duties include development and evaluation of principles and theories of adaptive resource management, development and implementation of large-scale management experiments, development of novel applications of adaptive management, technical support for ongoing applications of adaptive management, and development and implementation of other quantitative methods for wildlife management.

B.A., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1989.  Majors:  Biology, Philosophy.

M.A.T., Spalding University, Louisville, KY, 1994.  Majors:  Secondary Education, Biology.

Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1999.

Major: Natural Resources (Wildlife Science); Minors:  Biometrics, Agricultural Economics.  Dissertation:  Design and analysis of a model for adaptive harvest management of beaver (Castor canadensis). 

Areas of Expertise/Interest: adaptive resource management; harvest management models; population modeling; matrix models; ecology and management of ground squirrels, manatees, and beavers; large-scale management experiments; biometrics; mathematical ecology. 

Regional Director’s Conservation Award, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 4, 2007.  For contributions to and partnership in the science and recovery efforts of the Florida manatee.

Superior Service Award, Department of the Interior, 2005.  For “an exceptional job of making your science available to natural resource managers for use in their management decisions.”


Extraordinary Contribution Award, from the Chief of National Wildlife Refuge System, USFWS, 2003.  For extraordinary contributions to Fulfilling the Promise.


STAR Award, U.S. Geological Survey, 2003.  For supporting the USFWS in the manatee incidental take rule-making.


On-the-Spot Award, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002.  For providing exceptional scientific support to the Adaptive Harvest Management program.

Academic Honor Societies:  Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Epsilon Sigma, Gamma Sigma Delta.

Active Projects: 
Endangered Species:

Modeling, estimation, and adaptive management of manatees  (see


Adaptive management for threatened and endangered species


Quantitative methods for Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations


Adaptive management of releases to the Florida non-migratory Whooping Crane population:  integrating population viability analysis with adaptive management


National Wildlife Refuges:

Refuge Cooperative Research Program:  Timing of impoundment drawdowns and impact on waterbird, invertebrate, and vegetation communities within managed wetlands


Grassland bird breeding use of management grasslands on National Wildlife Refuges within Region 5 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Migratory Birds:

Adaptive management and assessment of habitat changes on migratory birds


Adaptive harvest management of age-structured goose populations


Adaptive harvest management of northern pintails


Hauser CE, Runge MC, Cooch EG, Johnson FA, Harvey WF.  2007.  Optimal control of Atlantic population Canada geese.  Ecological Modelling 201:27-36.

Runge MC, Sanders-Reed CA, Langtimm CA, Fonnesbeck CJ.  2007.  A quantitative threats analysis for the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).  U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1086.  34 pp.

Moilanen A, Runge MC, Elith J, Tyre A, Carmel Y, Fegraus E, Wintle BA, Burgman M, Ben-Haim Y.  2006.  Planning for robust reserve networks using uncertainty analysis.  Ecological Modelling 199:115-124.

Runge JP, Runge MC, Nichols JD. 2006. The role of local populations within a landscape context: defining and classifying sources and sinks.  American Naturalist 167:925-938.

Runge MC, Johnson FA, Anderson MG, Koneff M, Reed ET, Mott S.  2006.  The need for coherence between waterfowl harvest and habitat management.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:1231-1237.

Runge MC, Boomer GS.  2005.  Population dynamics and harvest management of the continental northern pintail population.  Report, June 6, 2005.  U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland.

Runge MC, Marra PP.  2005.  Modeling seasonal interactions in the population dynamics of migratory birds.  Pages 375-389 in Greenberg R, Marra PP, eds.  Birds of Two Worlds: The Ecology and Evolution of Migration.  Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

Schlaepfer MA, Sherman PW, Blossey B, Runge MC.  2005.  Introduced species as evolutionary traps.  Ecology Letters 8:241-246.

Runge MC, Kendall WL, Nichols JD.  2004.  Exploitation.  Pages 303-328 in Sutherland WJ, Newton I, Green RE, eds.  Bird Ecology and Conservation:  A Handbook of Techniques.  Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Runge MC, Langtimm CA, Kendall WL.  2004.  A stage-based model of manatee population dynamics.  Marine Mammal Science 20:361-385.

Runge MC, Mitchell LR, Norment CJ.  2004.  Grassland bird breeding use of managed grasslands on National Wildlife Refuges within Region 5 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Preliminary Report].  U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland.

Runge MC, Johnson FA.  2002.  The importance of functional form in optimal control solutions of problems in population dynamics.  Ecology 83:1357-1371.

Schlaepfer MA, Runge MC, Sherman PW.  2002.  Ecological and evolutionary traps.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17:474-480.

Sherman PW, Runge MC.  2002.  Demography of a population collapse:  The Northern Idaho ground squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus).  Ecology 83:2816-2831.

Runge MC, Moen AN.  1998.  A modified model for projecting age-structured populations in random environments.  Mathematical Biosciences 150:21-41.

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