Dr. Paul Stapp

Contact Information

Office: MH 224G

Phone: 657-278-2849

Email: pstapp@fullerton.edu

Paul Stapp



Dr. Stapp is an ecologist who studies behavioral, population, and community ecology of wildlife species, particularly mammals, in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, and applied problems related to their conservation and management. His research interests are varied and include both field and laboratory-based projects, almost all of which involve undergraduates or graduate students (MS Biology, MS Environmental Studies). A native of northern California, he earned his BS in Zoology from UC Davis, a MS in Wildlife from the University of New Hampshire, and his PhD in Zoology-Ecological Studies from Colorado State University. Following postdoctoral research projects at the University of Wyoming and UC Davis and a Lecturer position at the University of York (UK), he joined the Department of Biological Science at CSU Fullerton in 2002, where he teaches courses in ecology, conservation biology, and mammalogy, as well as graduate courses. 


PhD, Zoology (Ecological Studies), Colorado State University

MS, Wildlife, University of New Hampshire

BS, Zoology, University of California, Davis

Research Areas

Wildlife behavioral, population and community ecology; species interactions and food webs; wildlife-habitat relationships; anthropogenic impacts on wildlife; exotic and invasive species; ecology of insular, desert, grassland and agroecosystems; conservation biology; urban ecology

Courses Regularly Taught

Principles of Ecology, Conservation Biology, Mammalogy, Wildlife Conservation


Bucklin*, D.M., J.M. Shedden*, N.M. Quinn, R. Cummings, & P. Stapp. 2023. Do trap-neuter-return (TNR) practices contribute to human-coyote conflicts in southern California? Human-Wildlife Interactions, in press.

Cárdenas, P.A., E. Christensen, M. Ernest, D. Lightfoot, R.L. Schooley, P. Stapp, & J.A. Rudgers. 2021. Declines in rodent abundance and diversity track regional climate variability in North American drylands. Global Change Biology 27:4005-4023. 

Burke*, C.B., N.M. Quinn, & P. Stapp. 2021. Use of rodenticide bait stations by commensal rodents at the urban-wildland interface: Insights for management to reduce non-target exposure. Pest Management Science 77:3126-3134. 

Duncan*, C.L., J.L. King, & P. Stapp. 2017. Effects of prolonged immunocontraception on the breeding behavior of American bison. Journal of Mammalogy 98:1272-1287.

Salkeld, D.J., P. Stapp, D.W. Tripp, K.L. Gage, J. Lowell, C.T. Webb, R.J. Brinkerhoff, & M.F. Antolin. 2016. Ecological traits driving the outbreak and emergence of zoonotic pathogens. Bioscience 66:118-129.

Conway*, K., & P. Stapp. 2015. Bot-fly infestation of thirteen-lined ground squirrels in Colorado shortgrass steppe. The Prairie Naturalist 47:13-20.

Newbold, T.A.S., P. Stapp, K.E. Levensailor*, J.D. Derner, & W.K. Lauenroth. 2014. Community responses of arthropods to a range of traditional and manipulated grazing intensities in shortgrass steppe. Environmental Entomology 43:556-568.

Kraft*, J.P, & P. Stapp. 2013. Movements and burrow use by northern grasshopper mice as a possible mechanism of plague spread in prairie dog colonies. Journal of Mammalogy 94:1087-1093.

Rebollo, S., D.G. Milchunas, P. Stapp, D.J. Augustine, & J.D. Derner. 2013. Disproportionate effects of non-colonial small herbivores on structure and diversity of grassland dominated by large herbivores. Oikos 122:1757-1767.

Savage, L.T., R.M. Reich, L.M. Hartley, P. Stapp & M.F. Antolin. 2011. Climate, soils and connectivity predict plague epizootics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Ecological Applications 21:2933-2943.

Salkeld, D.J., M. Salathé, P. Stapp & J.H. Jones. 2010. Plague outbreaks in prairie dog populations: percolation thresholds of alternate host abundance explain epizootics.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:14247-14250.

Franklin*, H.A., P. Stapp & A. Cohen. 2010. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification of rodent blood meals confirms host sharing by flea vectors of plague. Journal of Vector Ecology 35:363-371.

Guttilla*, D.A., & P. Stapp.  2010. Effects of sterilization on movements of feral cats at an urban-wildland interface. Journal of Mammalogy 91:482-489.

Stapp, P., & D.J. Salkeld. 2009. Inferring host-parasite feeding relationships using stable isotopes: implications for disease transmission and host specificity. Ecology 90:3268-3273.

Stapp , P., D.J. Salkeld, H.A. Franklin*, J.P. Kraft*, D.W. Tripp, M.F. Antolin & K.L. Gage. 2009. Evidence for the involvement of an alternative rodent host in the dynamics of plague in prairie dogs. Journal of Animal Ecology 78:807-817 (authors contributed equally).

Derner, J.D., W.K. Lauenroth, P. Stapp & D.J. Augustine. 2009. Livestock as ecosystem engineers: Bird habitat in the western Great Plains. Rangeland Ecology and Management 62:111-118.

Boone*, A., J.P. Kraft* & P. Stapp. 2009. Scavenging by mammalian carnivores on prairie dog colonies: implications for the spread of plague. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 9:185-190.

Millus*, S.A., & P. Stapp. 2008. Interactions between seabirds and endemic deer mouse populations on Santa Barbara Island, California. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86:1031-1041.

Millus*, S.A., P. Stapp & P. Martin. 2007. Experimental control of a native predator may improve breeding success of a threatened seabird in the California Channel Islands. Biological Conservation 138:484-492.

Holmgren, M., P. Stapp , C.R. Dickman, C. Gracia, S. Graham, J.R. Gutiérrez, C.L. Hice, F. Jaksic, D.A. Kelt, M. Letnic, M. Lima, B.C. López, P.L. Meserve, W.B. Milstead, G.A. Polis, M.A. Previtali, M. Richter, S. Sabaté & F.A. Squeo. 2006. Extreme climatic events shape arid and semiarid ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4:87-95 (authors contributed equally).

Stapp, P., & D.A. Guttilla*. 2006. Population density and habitat use of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) on Santa Catalina Island, California. Southwestern Naturalist 51:576-582.

Stapp, P., M.F. Antolin & M. Ball. 2004. Patterns of extinction in prairie-dog metapopulations: plague outbreaks follow El Niño events. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2:235-240.

*CSUF research student 

Dr. Stapp's Website