Sonja Christensen, Ph.D

Sonja Christensen

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Assistant Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife



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Area of Expertise:

My current research focuses on understanding why diseases occur in a given place and time, how those diseases affect wildlife populations, and what disease surveillance and management strategies are most effective. The major themes of my work are 1) empirical and spatial analysis of ecological and climatic drivers of wildlife populations and disease processes, 2) methodological advancements in wildlife population estimation and disease surveillance, 3) quantifying disease risk and linkages with climate change and 4) evaluation of wildlife disease control efforts.


Ph.D., Michigan State University 2018

M.S., The Pennsylvania State University 2010

B.S., Minnesota State University 2005

Recent Publications:

Christensen, S. A., D. M. Williams, and M. Farr. Application of Nmixture models for aerial surveys of wildlife: a comparison study. Ecosphere. In Press.   

Christensen, S. A., D. M. WilliamsW. F. Porter, and B. A. Rudolph. 2021. Spatial variation of white-tailed deer population impacts and recovery from epizootic hemorrhagic disease. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 57(1): 82-93.

Christensen, S. A., M. Ruder, D. M. Williams, W. F. Porter, and D. Stallknecht. 2021. The role of drought as a predictor of emergent hemorrhagic disease in the Eastern United States. Global Change Biology.

Christensen, S. A., K. Straka, and J. R. Mason. 2020. A new approach to combating CWD. The Wildlife Professional 14.2:51-53.


Affiliated Pages:

Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center