Ghost Moose and Vampires - A Macabre New England Tale

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:00pm – 7:30pm Save to Calendar

Discover the link between moose, ticks, and climate change.


Not Required


  • Suggested Donation: $5.00


Mather Auditorium

This event is handicap accessible

Northern New England is home to the largest regional population of moose in the lower 48 states. After a major population expansion in the 1980-90s due to unprecedented increase in optimal habitat, moose have and continue to decline in NH, VT, and parts of Maine. This ecological story focuses on a unique host-parasite relationship that is largely influenced by the effects of climate change. This presentation will highlight 15 years of study that has unraveled much of this mystery through novel and often macabre field-laboratory research with moose and ticks.

Dr. Peter Pekins is Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). He has taught at UNH since 1987 serving as Coordinator of the Wildlife and Conservation Biology Program for most of his career, and most recently as department chair. He currently teaches a large general education course in Wildlife Ecology and a wildlife/forestry student favorite - Field Dendrology.    

Dr. Pekins’ research has focused mostly on game species and understanding physiological and bioenergetic adaptations for survival in northern environments. He is the principal UNH research cooperator with the state agency managing wildlife – the NH Fish and Game Department. He was the Director of the UNH Wildlife Research Facility from 1987-2004 where he managed the long-standing research program with captive white-tailed deer, and has conducted research throughout New England, Utah, and Norway with a multitude of species including deer, moose, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, American marten, blue grouse, spruce grouse, ptarmigan, wild turkeys, common terns, and bats. Since 2006 he has been the Editor-in-Chief of ALCES, the International Journal of Moose Research and Management, and received the Distinguished Moose Biologist Award from his international peers in 2015. His current moose research, a combined effort in New Hampshire and Maine, is the largest field project with moose in the United States with >500 radio-collared animals since 2014.

Photo credit: Dan Bergeron of NH Fish and Game Department

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