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Travis L DeVault

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Adjunct Assist. Professor of Wildlife Ecology
Wildlife Services, NWRC Ohio Field Station
6100 Columbia Avenue
Sandusky, OH 44870

Dr. Travis L. DeVault is the Field Station and Project Leader for the Ohio Field Station at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC).  He earned a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Purdue University where he studied foraging behaviors and movement patterns of vultures and other vertebrate scavengers at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.  After a postdoctoral appointment at Purdue, Dr. DeVault worked as a research wildlife biologist for NWRC in central New York for two years. While there, he researched issues associated with predation on sportfish by double-crested cormorants in the Great Lakes states.  He has been at the NWRC Ohio Field Station since 2008.

Dr. DeVault has led multiple studies in basic and applied wildlife ecology, including investigations of vertebrate food habits and foraging strategies, trophic interactions in terrestrial ecosystems, endangered species management in highly altered environments, and wildlife depredation in agricultural systems.  In his current work at the NWRC Ohio Field Station, he leads a research program dedicated to the development of strategies to reduce wildlife strikes with aircraft.  In addition to his appointment with NWRC, Dr. DeVault is an adjunct professor at Purdue University and Cornell University.

Expertise Keywords
Agriculture, aviation, birdstrike, community ecology, fish-eating birds, food habits, foraging behavior, scavengers, trophic interactions, wildlife hazards

Taxonomic Groups of Interest
Double-crested cormorant, turkey vulture, black vulture, least tern, American crow, raccoon, ring-billed gull

Current Research

  • Alternate land uses at airports
  • Bird responses to aircraft approach
  • Lethal enhancement of nonlethal hazing
  • Reproductive status of double-crested cormorants at colonies in the eastern United States
  • Evaluation of the response of fish populations in Oneida Lake, New York to cormorant management

Products/Techniques Developed or Tested

  • Fencing and barriers
  • Wildlife harassment
  • Lethal control


  • Ph.D., Purdue University, Wildlife Ecology, Scavenging by vertebrates: patterns of resource acquisition and implications for multi-trophic dynamics
  • M.S., (thesis), Indiana State University, Ecology and Systematics, Avian communities of large reclaimed mine grasslands in southwestern Indiana
  • B.S., Indiana State University, Life Sciences


  • USDA Wildlife Services Mentoring Program (2009-2010)
  • USDA, APHIS, Legislative and Public Affairs, Risk Communication Training (2009)
  • Congressional Operations Seminar, The Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University (2009)
  • Master Bird Bander (2008)
  • Qualified Airport Biologist (2008)
  • Certified Wildlife Biologist, The Wildlife Society (2007-present)
  • Firearms Training for Wildlife Services Biologists, Mississippi State Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy (2007)
  • Use of Immobilization and Euthanasia Drugs, USDA Wildlife Services Certification Course (2006)

Previous Positions

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University (2007-present)
  • Research Wildlife Biologist, USDA Wildlife Servcies, National Wildlife Research Center, Central New York Office (2006-2008)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor and Member of Graduate Faculty, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University (2006-present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate and Instructor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University (2003-2006)
  • Visiting Graduate Researcher, University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (2000-2003)
  • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University (1999-2003)
  • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Life Sciences, Indiana State University (1996-1999)

NWRC Research Project: New Technologies to Deter Wildlife from Airports and Aircraft