Christopher C Wilmers
  • Title
    • Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, 445
  • Office Hours
  • Mail Stop Environmental Studies
  • Courses ENVS 120: Conservation Biology, ENVS 123: Animal Ecology and Conservation

Research Interests

Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecological Modeling and statistics, Global Change Ecology

Biography, Education and Training

2004                PhD - Environmental Science, Policy and Management - UC Berkeley

1995                BA - Physics with Thesis Honors - Wesleyan University

Honors, Awards and Grants

Conservationist of the Year - Santa Cruz Land Trust

Selected Publications

Recent Publications:


Nickel, B. A., J. P. Suraci, A. C. Nisi, and C. C. Wilmers. 2021. Energetics and fear of humans constrain the spatial ecology of pumas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118:e2004592118. (PDF)

Yovovich, V., Thomsen, M., & Wilmers, C. C. 2021. Pumas’ fear of humans precipitates changes in plant architecture. Ecosphere 12:e03309. (PDF)

Serieys, L. E. K., Rogan, M. S., Matsushima, S. S., & Wilmers, C. C. 2021. Road-crossings, vegetative cover, land use and poisons interact to influence corridor effectiveness. Biological Conservation 253:108930. (PDF)


Levi, T., Hilderbrand, G. V., Hocking, M. D., Quinn, T. P., White, K. S., Adams, M. S., Armstrong, J. B., Crupi, A. P., Darimont, C. T., Deacy, W., Gilbert, S. L., Ripple, W. J., Shakeri, Y. N., Wheat, R. E., & Wilmers, C. C. 2020. Community ecology and conservation of bear-salmon ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8. (PDF)

Dunford, C. E., Marks, N. J., Wilmers, C. C., Bryce, C. M., Nickel, B., Wolfe, L. L., Scantlebury, D. M., & Williams, T. M. 2020. Surviving in steep terrain: A lab-to-field assessment of locomotor costs for wild mountain lions (puma concolor). Movement Ecology 8:34. (PDF)

Anton, C. B., Smith, D. W., Suraci, J. P., Stahler, D. R., Duane, T. P., & Wilmers, C. C. 2020. Gray wolf habitat use in response to visitor activity along roadways in yellowstone national park. Ecosphere 11:1-17. (PDF)

Yovovich, V., Allen, M. L., Macaulay, L. T., & Wilmers, C. C. 2020. Using spatial characteristics of apex carnivore communication and reproductive behaviors to predict responses to future human development. Biodiversity and Conservation. (PDF)

Suraci, J. P., Nickel, B. A., & Wilmers, C. C. 2020. Fine-scale movement decisions by a large carnivore inform conservation planning in human-dominated landscapes. Landscape Ecology. (PDF)

Stears, K., Schmitt, M. H., Wilmers, C. C., & Shrader, A. M. 2020. Mixed-species herding levels the landscape of fear. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287. (PDF)

Sebastián-González, E., Morales-Reyes, Z., Botella, F., Naves-Alegre, L., Pérez-García, J. M., Mateo-Tomás, P., Olea, P. P., Moleón, M., Barbosa, J. M., Hiraldo, F., Arrondo, E., Donázar, J. A., Cortés-Avizanda, A., Selva, N., Lambertucci, S. A., Bhattacharjee, A., Brewer, A. L., Abernethy, E. F., Turner, K. L., Beasley, J. C., DeVault, T. L., Gerke, H. C., Rhodes Jr, O. E., Ordiz, A., Wikenros, C., Zimmermann, B., Wabakken, P., Wilmers, C. C., Smith, J. A., Kendall, C. J., Ogada, D., Frehner, E., Allen, M. L., Wittmer, H. U., Butler, J. R. A., du Toit, J. T., Margalida, A., Oliva-Vidal, P., Wilson, D., Jerina, K., Krofel, M., Kostecke, R., Inger, R., Per, E., Ayhan, Y., Ulusoy, H., Vural, D., Inagaki, A., Koike, S., Samson, A., Perrig, P. L., Spencer, E., Newsome, T. M., Heurich, M., Anadón, J. D., Buechley, E. R., & Sánchez-Zapata, J. A. 2020. Network structure of vertebrate scavenger assemblages at the global scale: Drivers and ecosystem functioning implications. Ecography. (PDF)

Wilmers, C. C., Metz, M. C., Stahler, D. R., Kohl, M. T., Geremia, C., & Smith, D. W. 2020. How climate impacts the composition of wolf-killed elk in northern Yellowstone National Park. Journal of Animal Ecology. (PDF)

Nickel, B. A., Suraci, J. P., Allen, M. L., & Wilmers, C. C. 2020. Human presence and human footprint have non-equivalent effects on t wildlife spatiotemporal habitat use. Biological Conservation 241. (PDF)


Dellinger, J.A., Cristescu, B., Ewanyk, J., Gammons, D.J., Garcelon, D., Johnston, P., Martins, Q., Thompson, C., Vickers, T.W., Wilmers, C.C., Wittmer, H.U. & Torres, S.G. 2019. Using Mountain Lion Habitat Selection in Management. The Journal of Wildlife Management. (PDF)

Weiss-Penzias, P.S., Bank, M.S., Clifford, D.L., Torregrosa, A., Zheng, B., Lin, W. & Wilmers, C.C. 2019. Marine fog inputs appear to increase methylmercury bioaccumulation in a coastal terrestrial food web. Scientific Reports 9:17611. (PDF)

Saremi, N. F., Supple, M. A., Byrne, A., Cahill, J. A., Coutinho, L. L., Dalén, L., Figueiró, H. V., Johnson, W. E., Milne, H. J., O’Brien, S. J., O’Connell, B., Onorato, D. P., Riley, S. P. D., Sikich, J. A., Stahler, D. R., Villela, P. M. S., Vollmers, C., Wayne, R. K., Eizirik, E., Corbett-Detig, R. B., Green, R. E., Wilmers, C. C., & Shapiro, B. 2019. Puma genomes from north and south america provide insights into the genomic consequences of inbreeding. Nature Communications 10:4769. (PDF)

Suraci, J.P., Clinchy, M., Zanette, L.Y. & Wilmers, C.C. 2019. Fear of humans as apex predators has landscape-scale impacts from mountain lions to mice. Ecology Letters (PDF)

Suraci, J. P., Smith, J. A., Clinchy, M., Zanette, L. Y., & Wilmers, C. C. 2019. Humans, but not their dogs, displace pumas from their kills: An experimental approach. Scientific Reports 9:12214. (PDF)

Sebastián-González, E., Barbosa, J. M., Pérez-García, J. M., Morales-Reyes, Z., Botella, F., Olea, P. P., Mateo-Tomás, P., Moleón, M., Hiraldo, F., Arrondo, E., Donázar, J. A., Cortés-Avizanda, A., Selva, N., Lambertucci, S. A., Bhattacharjee, A., Brewer, A., Anadón, J. D., Abernethy, E., Rhodes Jr, O. E., Turner, K., Beasley, J. C., DeVault, T. L., Ordiz, A., Wikenros, C., Zimmermann, B., Wabakken, P., Wilmers, C. C., Smith, J. A., Kendall, C. J., Ogada, D., Buechley, E. R., Frehner, E., Allen, M. L., Wittmer, H. U., Butler, J. R. A., du Toit, J. T., Read, J., Wilson, D., Jerina, K., Krofel, M., Kostecke, R., Inger, R., Samson, A., Naves-Alegre, L., & Sánchez-Zapata, J. A. 2019. Scavenging in the anthropocene: Human impact drives vertebrate scavenger species richness at a global scale. Global Change Biology 25:3005-3017. (PDF)

Suraci, J. P., Frank, L. G., Oriol-Cotterill, A., Ekwanga, S., Williams, T. M., & Wilmers, C. C. 2019. Behavior-specific habitat selection by african lions may promote their persistence in a human-dominated landscape. Ecology (PDF)

Smith, J.A., Duane, T.P. & Wilmers, C.C. 2019. Moving through the matrix: Promoting permeability for large carnivores in a human-dominated landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning 183:50-58. (PDF)


Schmitz, O.J., Wilmers, C.C., Leroux, S.J., Doughty, C.E., Atwood, T.B., Galetti, M., Davies, A.B. & Goetz, S.J. 2018. Animals and the zoogeochemistry of the carbon cycle. Science 362:1-10. (PDF)

Gustafson, K.D., Gagne, R.B., Vickers, T.W., Riley, S.P.D., Wilmers, C.C., Bleich, V.C., Pierce, B.M., Kenyon, M., Drazenovich, T.L., Sikich, J.A., Boyce, W.M. & Ernest, H.B. 2018. Genetic source–sink dynamics among naturally structured and anthropogenically fragmented puma populations. Conservation Genetics. (PDF)

O’Brien, T.G., Kinnaird, M.F., Ekwanga, S., Wilmers, C., Williams, T., Oriol-Cotterill, A., Rubenstein, D. & Frank, L.G. 2018. Resolving a conservation dilemma: Vulnerable lions eating endangered zebras. Plos One:1-15. (PDF)

Van Cleave, E.K., Bidner, L.R., Ford, A.T., Gaillaud, D., Wilmers, C.C. & Isbell, L.A. 2018. Diel patterns of movement activity and habitat use by leopards (Panthera pardus pardus) living in a human-dominated landscape in central Kenya. Biological Conservation 226:224-237. (PDF)

Smith, J.A., Thomas, A.C., Levi, T., Wang, Y. & Wilmers, C.C. 2018. Human activity reduces niche partitioning among three widespread mesocarnivores. Oikos 00:1-12. (PDF)

Tucker et al. 2018. Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements. Science 359: 466-469. (PDF)

Full pulications available here: