University of Vermont

James Murdoch (Jed)

Jed Murdoch

Associate Professor, Director of Wildlife & Fisheries Biology Program

Phone: 802-656-2912
Office: 303A Aiken Center

Areas of Interest

Carnivore behavior, ecology, and conservation; competition and intraguild interactions; biodiversity conservation; arid grasslands, savannahs, and deserts

I am a native Vermonter and was born and raised in Chittenden County. My research interests focus on the behavior and ecology of mammalian carnivores with an emphasis on their management and conservation. Much of my experience has focused on the Canidae, including foxes, wild dogs, and wolves, and explored aspects of their sociality, demography, ranging behavior, food habits, and abundance and distribution. My current research examines the ecological relationships between steppe carnivores in Mongolia, including corsac foxes, red foxes, badgers, and Pallas' cats, and the effectiveness of management strategies at protecting them. Other projects relate to the effects of landscape change on carnivores in Vermont and impacts of snaring on elephants, wild dogs, and lions in Zambia.

I serve as Programme Coordinator for the IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group (based at WildCRU - University of Oxford) and team member of the Zambian Carnivore Programme. I also serve as a member of the Vermont Scientific Advisory Group for Mammals and Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Vermont.

Instructional Program

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology


Ph.D., Zoology, University of Oxford (UK), 2009
M.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Denver, 2003
B.A., Biology, Colorado College, 1996

Selected Publications

Ekernas, L., W. Sarmento, H. Davie, R. Reading, J. Murdoch, G. Wingard, S. Amgalanbaatar, and J. Berger. In press. Indirect effects of desert pastoralists help and hurt rare wildlife.  Conservation Biology.

M’soka, J., S. Creel, M. Becker, and J. Murdoch. In press. Ecological and anthropogenic effects on the density of migratory and resident ungulates in a human-inhabited protected area. African Journal of Ecology.

Reading, R., J. Murdoch, S. Amgalanbaatar, H. Davie, M. Jorgensen, D. Kenny, T. Munkhzul, G. Onloragcha, L. Rhodes, J. Schneider, T. Selenge, E. Stotz, S. Buyandelger, E. Tuguldur, and G. Wingard. 2016. From “paper park” to model protected area: transformation of Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. IUCN Parks 22.2:25-38.

Lkhagvasuren, M., J. Murdoch, T. Munkhzul, and A. Strong. 2016. Predicting the effects of habitat loss on corsac fox occupancy in Mongolia. Journal of Mammalogy 97:1153-1163.

Murdoch, J., H. Davie, M. Galbadrah, and R. P. Reading. 2016. Factors influencing red fox occupancy probability in central Mongolia. Mammalian Biology 81:82-88.

Statham, M., J. Murdoch, J. Janecka, K. Aubry, C. Edwards, C. Soulsbury, O. Berry, Z. Wang, D. Harrison, M. Pearch, L. Tomsett, J. Chupasko, and B. Sacks. 2014. Range-wide multilocus phylogeography of the red fox reveals ancient continental divergence, minimal genomic exchange and distinct demographic histories. Molecular Ecology 23:4813-4830.

Davie, H., P. Stokowski, L. Ankhbayar, and J. Murdoch. 2014. Herders and wolves in post-Soviet society: an ethnographic study in Mongolia’s Ikh Nart Nature Reserve. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19:319-333.

Davie, H., J. Murdoch, A. Lkhagvasuren, and R. Reading. 2014. Measuring and mapping the influence of landscape factors on livestock predation by wolves in Mongolia. Journal of Arid Environments 103:85-91.

Becker, M., R. McRobb, F. Watson, E. Droge, B. Kanyembo, J. Murdoch, and C. Kakumbi. 2013. Evaluating wire-snare poaching trends and the impacts of by-catch on elephants and large carnivores. Biological Conservation 158:26-36.

Murdoch, J., T. Munkhzul, S. Buyandelger, and C. Sillero-Zubiri. 2010. Survival and cause-specific mortality of corsac and red foxes in Mongolia. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:59-64.

Murdoch, J., T. Munkhzul, S. Buyandelger, R. Reading, and C. Sillero-Zubiri. 2010. Seasonal food habits of corsac and red foxes in Mongolia and the potential for competition. Mammalian Biology 75:36-44.

Murdoch, J., T. Munkhzul, S. Buyandelger, R. Reading, and C. Sillero-Zubiri. 2009. The Endangered Siberian marmot Marmota sibirica as a keystone species? Observations and implications of burrow use by corsac foxes Vulpes corsac in Mongolia. Oryx 43:431-434.

Murdoch, J., S. Buyandelger, and B. Cypher. 2009. Patterns of seed occurrence in corsac and red fox diets in Mongolia. Journal of Arid Environments 73:381-384.

Additional Links

IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group

WildCRU – Oxford University

Zambian Carnivore Programme

The Nature Conservancy - Vermont