Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Carolina Staff Member

Dr. Katherine W. McFadden

K. McFadden (2012)

Assistant Unit Leader




  • Ph D Columbia Universtiy 2004
  • Other Columbia Universtiy 2001
  • MA Columbia University 2001
  • MS Texas A&M University 1999
  • BA University of California, Santa Cruz 1995


Work in my lab includes a combination of field and lab-based ecological research that focuses on both theoretical and applied questions in the areas of community ecology, population ecology, and conservation biology. My research largely relates to the conservation and management of large vertebrates such as carnivores or marine turtles. My research examines the temporal and spatial variation in movement patterns, habitat selection, and population ecology of wildlife. I also work to develop meaningful environmental policy and management recommendations based on my ecological research. While much of my work focuses on endangered and threatened species, I seek to understand the role species play in structuring communities and in maintaining ecosystem function.

Teaching Interest

Wildlife biology and management, conservation biology, population ecology, field methods

Research Interest

Wildlife conservation ecology, species-habitat relationships, population dynamics, disease ecology, foraging ecology

Research Publications Publication Date
Population distribution of green turtles at Palmyra Atoll, Central Pacific: Insights from mtDNA and dispersal modeling. 2013. Naro-Maciel E, Gaughran SJ, Putman NF, Amato G, Arengo F, Dutton PH, McFadden KW, Vintinner E, Sterling EJ. Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Abstract | Download April 2014
K. McFadden, T. Lacher and G. Worthy. 2006. Photogrammetric estimates of size and mass in Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) Aquatic Mammals 32:31-40 | Download December 2006
K. McFadden, S. Wade, E. Dubovi, and M. Gompper. 2005. A serology and fecal parasitologic survey of the critically endangered pygmy raccoon (Procyon pygmaeus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 41:615-617 | Download December 2005
K. McFadden, M. Gompper, R. Medellín and R. Sambrotto. 2006. Feeding habits of endangered pygmy raccoon (Procyon pygmaeus) based on stable isotopes and fecal analyses. Journal of Mammalogy 87:501-509 | Download December 2006
K. McFadden, M. Gompper, D. Valenzuela, and J.C. Morales. 2008. Evolutionary history of the critically endangered Cozumel dwarf carnivores inferred from mitochondrial DNA analyses. Journal of Zoology 276:176-186 | Download December 2008
K. McFadden, D. Vasco, A. Cuaron, D. Valenzuela and M. Gompper. 2009. Conservation and population assessment of the endangered dwarf carnivores from Cozumel Island. Biodiversity and Conservation 19:419-502. | Download December 2009
K. McFadden and S. Meiri. Dwarfism in Insular Carnivores: A Case Study of the Pygmy Raccoon. Journal of Zoology January 2013
K. McFadden and C. Barnes. 2009. The implementation of an ecosystem approach to management in a federal government agency. Marine Policy 33:156-163. | Download December 2009
E. Sterling, K. McFadden, K. Holmes, E. B. Vintinner, F. Arengo, E. Naro-Maciel. Accepted. Ecology and Conservation of Marine Turtles in a Central Pacific Foraging Ground. Chelonian Conservation and Biology January 2013
E. Naro-Maciel, K. Holmes, P. Ersts, N. Bynum, K. McFadden, and E. Sterling. 2009. Globally endangered sea turtles of the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Network of Conservation and Education Practitioners Module. December 2009
C. Barnes and K. McFadden. 2008. Marine ecosystem approaches to management: challenges and lessons in the United States. Marine Policy 32: 387-392 | Download December 2008
A. Cuaron, M. M. Morales, K. McFadden, M. Gompper and D. Valenzuela. 2004. The status of dwarf carnivores on Cozumel Island. Biodiversity and Conservation 13:317-331 | Download December 2004
A. Cuaron, D. Valenzuela, D. Garcia-Vasco, M. Copa, S. Bautista, H. Mena, D. Martinez-Godinez, C. Gonzalez-Baca, L. Borquez, L. Barraza, K. McFadden and M. Gompper. 2009. Conservation of the endemic dwarf carnivores of Cozumel Island, Mexico. Small Carnivore Conservation 41: 15-21. | Download December 2009
. McFadden, K., A. Gomez, E. Sterling and E.Naro-Maciel. 2014. Potential Impacts of Historical Disturbance on Green Turtle Health in the Unique & Protected Marine Ecosystem of Palmyra Atoll (Central Pacific). Marine Pollution Bulletin 89:160-167 October 2014
Presentations Presentation Date
UPDATE ON THE BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ARCHIVAL OF SEA TURTLE TISSUES (BEMAST) PROJECT: SAMPLE ARCHIVE AND CONTAMINANT ANALYSIS Jennifer M. Keller 1 George H. Balazs 2 Marc R. Rice 4 Thierry M. Work 5 Eleanor Sterling 6 Felicity Arengo 6 Kate McFadden 7 Frannie Nilsen3 Brenda Jensen 3 Rebecca S. Pugh 1 Paul R. Becker 1 April 2014
Lawson, A.J., and K.W. McFadden. 2014. Optimizing survey designs for complex habitat: evaluating seasonal variation of alligator abundance estimates derived from nightlight surveys in South Carolina. Crocodile Specialist Group Working Meeting, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. May 2014
Lawson, A.J., and K.W. McFadden. 2014. Optimizing Alligator Nightlight Survey Designs for Complex Habitat: Evaluating Seasonal Variation in Abundance and Detectability in South Carolina. The Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Poster Presentation. October 2014
Lawson, A.J., and K.W. McFadden. 2013. South Carolina alligator adaptive management strategies: population dynamics, habitat utilization, and conservation threats. U.S. Geological Survey South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Coordinating Committee Meeting, Clemson, South Carolina. May 2013
Lawson, A.J., and K.W. McFadden. 2013. Influence of habitat on American Alligator densities in coastal South Carolina derived from nightlight survey data (1971-2012). The Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Poster presentation. October 2013
Lawson, A.J., K.W. McFadden, P.G.R. Jodice. 2015. Does harvest pressure influence body size class composition in American alligator populations? The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting. Winnipeg, Manitoba. October 2015
Lawson, A. J., C. T. Moore, P. G. R. Jodice, and K. W. McFadden. 2016. Optimizing American alligator population survey design to improve management decision-making. The Wildlife Society 23rd Annual Conference, 15-19 October 2016, Raleigh, NC. October 2016
Keck, K.R. and McFadden, K.W.M. 2014. Loss of Foundation Tree Species: Consequences for Small Mammals in Forest Ecosystems. Society for Conservation Biology Conference, Missoula, MT. July 2014
Keck, K. R., K. W. McFadden. 2013. Loss of Foundation Tree Species: Consequences for Small Mammal Assemblages in Oak Forests. 20th Annual Meeting, The Wildlife Society, Milwaukee, WI, 5-10 October, 2013. October 2013
Green Sea Turtles and Marine Ecosystem Health: A Case Study From Palmyra Atoll. 2013. K. McFadden and E. Naro-Maciel. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Baltimore, Maryland. July 2013
Effects of Habitat on Small Mammal Diversity and Abundance in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda. M. Majyambere and K. McFadden. 2013. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Baltimore, Maryland. July 2013
Technical Publications Publication Date
K. McFadden, E. Sterling, K. Holmes and E. Naro-Maciel. 2008. The status of green sea turtles at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. US Fish & Wildlife Report October 2008
C. Barnes, L. Bozzi and K. McFadden. 2005. Exploring an Ecosystem Approach to Management. Ecosystem Research Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ecosystem Goal Team February 2005
A. Veit and K McFadden. 1998. The status of the Hawaiian monk seal at Kure Atoll-1998. Southwestern National Marine Fisheries Annual Report, NOAA September 1998