Viorel Popescu – Conservation Ecology Lab


Conservation Ecology Lab; quantitative wildlife ecology and conservation science

Welcome to the Conservation Ecology Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University. We work on applied wildlife and conservation research in Ohio’s deciduous forests, mountains of the Pacific Northwest and California, Romanian Carpathians, and subtropical China. Our research interests are diverse, spanning mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and we use a variety of experimental, observational and computational approaches that are problem-solving oriented. For example, we work on sustainability of carnivore trophy hunting and efficacy of protected areas in Romania, evaluating impacts of roads on reptiles and mammals in Ohio, exploring trade-offs between  renewable energy and biodiversity conservation in British Columbia, and evaluating the effects of multiple stressors on amphibian populations.

Romanian carnivore research made TV NEWS! (sorry, video and article in Romanian only)
The unexpected happened! After decades of same old carnivore management based on regulated hunting (read extremely profitable trophy hunting), the Romanian Academy and Ministry of Environment, under pressure from the public (and hopefully informed by our Journal of Applied Ecology paper on the lack of biological plausibility of carnivore data reported by wildlife managers), finally stepped up to the plate, and decided to BAN CARNIVORE TROPHY HUNTING IN ROMANIA. This is far from over, so stay tuned for new developments…


Ongoing Work! (also check out the NEWS section for updates)


GO BOBCATS! Mackenzie Rich, Honors Tutorial College undergraduate and Cassandra Thompson, MSc student, ran a camera trapping study to evaluate the composition and distribution of Ohio’s terrestrial carnivore community, with a focus on Ohio University favorite, BOBCATS!





Beetles and more! Bekka Brodie and colleagues from University of Bucharest, Romania, surveyed endangered saproxylic beetles in traditionally maintained landscapes in SW Romania using pheromone traps as a form of rapid biodiversity monitoring






Wildlife road mortality mitigation: OU undergraduates Devon Cottrill, Jeff Roush, and Nicole Dake spent 2 months surveying whitetail deer using remote cameras and pellet counts along US Highway 33 in SE Ohio to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation structures for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions



Prospective graduate students: If you are interested in being part of my lab at Ohio University, please send me: (A) a short statement about yourself and your research interests (background, goals/ambitions, why Ohio University), (B) your resume or CV, and (C) your GPA and GRE scores.

The main research directions in the lab are: (1) vernal pool and amphibian ecology, (2) carnivore ecology and conservation, and (3) spatial conservation planning, but incoming students may to develop their own projects focused on other conservation topics of interests.


Dr. Viorel D. Popescu
Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Ohio University
423 Irvine Hall
Athens, OH 45701
Skype: dvpopescu 

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