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

Maine Staff Member


Dr. Shawn McKinney

Assistant Unit Leader-Wildlife, Shawn McKinney, conducting whitebark pine community research in Yellowstone NP.

Assistant Unit Leader
Phone: (207) 581 - 2915
Email: shawn.mckinney@maine.edu

Education

  • Ph D University of Montana 2007
  • MS University of Colorado - Denver 2004
  • BA University of Colorado - Boulder 1996

Biography

I joined the Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2012, where I am the Assistant Unit Leader-Wildlife and Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine. Before coming to the Maine CRU, I was an Ecologist with the National Park Service Sierra Nevada Inventory and Monitoring Network in California, and before that, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Montana in Missoula.

Teaching Interest

I like to combine multiple teaching strategies within a given course and have incorporated lecture, lab, and field aspects into courses ranging from General Biology to Research in Ecology. I currently lead a graduate seminar entitled "Bayesian Study and Methods" and will teach a graduate course entitled "Advanced Topics in Ecology" each fall semester.

Research Interest

I am a terrestrial community ecologist by training, and I’ve worked in a broad diversity of ecosystems from grasslands up to the alpine. Most of my research, however, has taken place in forest systems. In general, I am motivated to understand how habitat context shapes the strength of interspecific interactions, and how species relationships in turn influence the trajectory of community structure and composition. I am particularly interested in identifying how anthropogenic change to primary producers influences higher-level species interactions. I believe that this information has broad applicability, and can be used to develop scientifically sound management plans, and conservation and recovery strategies for sensitive, threatened, and endangered species.

Research Publications Publication Date
Wood, C.M., S.T. Mckinney, and C.S.Loftin. 2017. Intraspecific functional diversity of common species enhances community stability. Ecology and Evolution 2017: 1–8, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2721 February 2017
Wood, C.M., S.T. McKinney, C.S. Loftin, and Z. Loman. 2020. Testing prediction accuracy in a short-term ecological study. Basic and Applied Ecology 43:77-85. March 2020
Stucki, D.S., S.T. McKinney, and J.C.B. Nesmith. 2012. Sierra Nevada Network White Pine Community Dynamics Annual Monitoring Report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SIEN/NRDS––2012/405. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. | Download November 2012
McKnight, A., E.J. Blomberg, G.H. Golet, D.B. Irons, C.S. Loftin, and S.T. McKinney. 2018. Experimental evidence of long-term breeding costs in a colonial seabird. Journal of Avian Biology, 49: 1-14. Article DOI:10.1111/jav.01779; Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.qb3q5f3. September 2018
McKnight, A., E.J. Blomberg, D.B. Irons, C.S. Loftin, and S.T. McKinney. 2019. Survival and recruitment dynamics of black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) at an Alaskan colony. Marine Ornithology 47:209-222. doi:10.5061/dryad.ch2740k October 2019
McKinney, S. T., and D. F. Tomback. 2011. Altered community dynamics in Rocky Mountain whitebark pine forests and the potential for accelerating declines. In: Kevin E. Richards (Ed.), Mountain Ecosystems: Dynamics, Management and Conservation. Nova Publishers, Inc., New York. February 2011
McKinney, S. T., and D. F. Tomback. 2007. The influence of white pine blister rust on seed dispersal in whitebark pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:1044-1057. | Download July 2007
McKinney, S. T., and C. E. Fiedler. 2010. Tree squirrel habitat selection and predispersal seed predation in a declining subalpine conifer. Oecologia 162:697-707. | Download January 2010
McKinney, S. T., T. Rodhouse, L. Chow, P. Latham, L. Garrett, D. Sarr, and L. Mutch. 2011. Long-term monitoring of high-elevation white pine communities in Pacific West Region National Parks. In R. E. Keane, D. F. Tomback, M. P. Murray, and C. M. Smith (eds.). The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO. U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 376 pp. July 2011
McKinney, S. T., T. Rodhouse, L. Chow, G. Dicus, L. Garrett, K. Irvine, D. Sarr, and L. A. H. Starcevich. 2012. Monitoring white pine (Pinus albicaulis, P. balfouriana, P. flexilis) community dynamics in the Pacific West Region: Klamath, Sierra Nevada, and Upper Columbia Basin Networks. Natural Resource Report NPS/PWR/NRR—2012/532. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. May 2012
McKinney, S. T., C. E. Fiedler, and D. F. Tomback. 2011. Altered species interactions and implications for natural regeneration in whitebark pine communities. In R. E. Keane, D. F. Tomback, M. P. Murray, and C. M. Smith (eds.). The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO. U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 376 pp. July 2011
McKinney, S. T., C. E. Fiedler, and D. F. Tomback. 2009. Invasive pathogen threatens bird-pine mutualism: implications for sustaining a high-elevation ecosystem. Ecological Applications 19:597-607. | Download January 2009
Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, D.F.; Aubry, C.A.; Bower, A.D.; Campbell, E.M.; Cripps, C.L.; Jenkins, M.B.; Mahalovich, M.F.; Manning, M.; McKinney, S.T.; Murray, M.P.; Perkins, D.L.; Reinhart, D.P.; Ryan, C.; Schoettle, A.W.; Smith, C.M. 2012. A range-wide restoration strategy for whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-279. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 108 p. | Download | Publisher Website June 2012
Fletcher, R. J., Jr., S. T. McKinney, and C. E. Bock. 1999. Effects of recreational trails on wintering diurnal raptors along riparian corridors in a Colorado grassland. Journal of Raptor Research 33:233-239. | Download July 1999
Fiedler, C. E., and S. T. McKinney. Forest structure, health, and mortality in two Rocky Mountain whitebark pine ecosystems: Implications for restoration. | Download July 2014
Clare, J., S.T. McKinney, C.S. Loftin, and J.E. DePue. 2017. Multiple methods improve inferences and evaluate method-specific biases, with extensions for observation dependence. Ecological Applications. DOI: 10.1002/eap.1587 September 2017
Clare, J., S.T. McKinney, C.S. Loftin, E.M. Simons-Legaard, and J.E. DePue. 2019. Satellite-detected forest disturbance forecasts American marten population decline: the case for supportive space-based monitoring. Biological Conservation 233:336-345. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.02.020. March 2019
Chace, J.F., S.T. McKinney, and A. Cruz. 2000. Nest-site characteristics and nesting success of the greater pewee in Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist 45:169-175. | Download June 2000
Barringer, L. E., D. F. Tomback, M. B. Wunder, and S. T. McKinney. 2012. Relative health of whitebark pine and cone production as predictors of visitation by Clark’s Nutcracker. PLoS ONE. | Download | Publisher Website May 2012
Presentations Presentation Date
Wood, C. S. McKinney, and C.S. Loftin. 2015. Intraspecific functional diversity of common species enhances community stability. 6th annual SCCS-NY meeting of the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, New York, NY, 7-9 October. October 2015
Wood, C. S. McKinney, and C.S. Loftin. 2015. Dynamics of small mammal communities. 9th Northeast Alpine Stewardship Gathering, Baxter State Park, Millinocket, ME, 6-8 November. November 2015
Wood, C. S. McKinney, and C.S. Loftin. 2015. Dynamics of alpine small mammal communities. 9th Northeast Alpine Stewardship Gathering, Baxter State Park, Millinocket, ME, 6-8 November. November 2015
McKnight, Aly, C.S. Loftin, And S.McKinney. 2016. Does reproduction incur long-term costs in a colonial seabird? Presentation at the Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group Annual Winter Meeting, Bangor, ME. 7 March. March 2016
McKnight, A., E. Blomberg, D. Irons, C. Loftin, and S. McKinney. 2017. Colony size influences fidelity in a colonial nesting seabird. Presentation at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Seabird Working Group, Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Tacoma, WA, 22-25 February. February 2017
McKnight, A., C.S. Loftin, and S.T. McKinney. 2017. Universal drivers of seabird productivity: Patterns across two systems. Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group Winter Meeting, Bangor, ME. 29 March. March 2017
McKnight, A., C.S. Loftin, and S.T. McKinney. 2016. Individual, colony, and metapopulation level drivers of seabird colony dynamics.” Poster, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Annual Coordinating Committee Meeting, Orono, ME. 23 March. March 2016
McKnight, A., C.S. Loftin, and S.. Mckinney. 2016. Does reproduction incur long-term costs in a colonial seabird? Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Annual Coordinating Committee Meeting, Orono, ME. 23 March. March 2016
McKinney, S.T., and D.F. Tomback. The viability of evolutionary rescue in natural populations. Society for Conservation Biology North America Congress for Conservation Biology, Missoula, MT. July 2014
McKinney, S. T., and D. F. Tomback. Invasive pathogen trumps natural selection thwarting evolutionary rescue. The Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN. August 2013
McKinney, S. T. Trophic cascades and functional losses: Using models of species interactions to restore an imperiled ecosystem. The Croaking Toad Lecture Series. Yosemite National Park, El Portal, California October 2011
Linden, Daniel, W., and Shawn T. McKinney. Integrated population modeling of American black bears: An application of robust-design spatial capture-recapture combined with mark-recovery and recruitment. International Statistical Ecology Conference, Montpellier, France. July 2014
Linden, Daniel W., and Shawn T. McKinney. Using all the data: Improving inferences from population models. Eastern Black Bear Workshop, Millinocket, ME. April 2013
Linden, Daniel W., and Shawn T. McKinney. Improved inferences on population dynamics of black bears in Maine through integrated modeling. The Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI. October 2013
Technical Publications Publication Date
McKinney, S. T., and T. J. Rodhouse. 2011. Monitoring white pine in national parks. Nutcracker Notes 21:15-17. November 2011
McKinney, S. T. 2008. Trapping Clark’s Nutcrackers and locating nests. Nutcracker Notes 14:10-11. June 2008
McKinney, S. T. 2005. Trends in nutcracker occurrence. Nutcracker Notes 9:8. June 2005
McKinney, S. T. 2002. Testing natural selection as a means of restoring whitebark pine. Nutcracker Notes 3:10, 14. November 2002
Fiedler, C. E., and S. T. McKinney. 2011. Effects of blister rust in two whitebark pine ecosystems: implications for restoration. Nutcracker Notes 20:14-15. June 2011