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

Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit Staff Member

Dr. Sarah Sells

Assistant Unit Leader
Phone: (406) 243 - 4393
Faculty Email:


Dr. Sells received her BS from Oregon State University and MS and PhD from the University of Montana. She was a postdoctoral research scientist before joining the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in 2022. Dr. Sells is a basic and applied ecologist with expertise in animal behavior, spatial ecology, quantitative analyses, agency collaboration, and decision analysis. Her research aims to ask and answer questions that advance understanding of the natural world and address pressing conservation challenges. To this end, she collaborates closely with resource managers to produce research that addresses conservation needs. Over the years, Dr. Sells has worked with numerous researchers on projects spanning the alpine meadows of Olympic National Park, to canyon country of the Southwest, and to cloud forests of Central America. Most recently, she has been collaborating with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to study grizzly bear connectivity among ecosystems. Prior to this, she studied wolf behavior and spatial ecology to help estimate abundance of wolves in Montana. Dr. Sells will teach Statistical Applications in Wildlife in spring 2023, and in future years, plans to develop a new course on collaborative research and decision analysis.

Areas of Expertise

Behavioral Ecology, Decision Support/Analysis, GIS/Spatial Analysis, Landscape Ecology, Movement Ecology, Population and Community Ecology, Statistics and Modelling, T&E Species Management, Wildlife Management

Taxon Groups Studied

Carnivores, Nongame Fish/Wildlife

Presentations Presentation Date
Sells, S. N., C. Costello, P. Lukacs, L. Roberts, and M. Vinks. 2023. Habitat Selection and Predicted Movement Corridors for Grizzly Bears in Western Montana. Montana Chapter Conference of The Wildlife Society February 2023