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Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

NREM Faculty - Scott R. Loss

Assistant Professor

544 Ag Hall (Office)
Stillwater, OK 74078
(405) 744-4407


Educational Background

BS: University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point 2004; Wildlife Ecology and Management; Biology
MS:      University of Illinois 2007; Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
PhD:    University of Minnesota 2011; Conservation Biology




  • NREM 4001: Issues in Global Change
  • NREM 3012: Applied Ecology and Conservation Lab

Research Interests:

I am interested in understanding the effects of human-caused global changes on wildlife populations and communities, with a focus on birds. Global change consists not only of climate change but also of numerous other impacts humans have on earth’s species and environments. For example, the emergence of infectious diseases, destruction and degradation of habitat through the spread of invasive species and urbanization, and direct mortality of protected wildlife are all types of global change that occur due to complex interactions with other social and environmental changes, including climate change.

Specific research areas that I have addressed or am currently addressing include: elucidation of the role of birds in the transmission of West Nile virus, identification of the  impacts of invasive earthworms on ground-dwelling native bird species in hardwood forests of the northern U.S. and on the Channel Islands of California, visual and olfactory concealment of the nests of ground-dwelling birds, and quantification of the impacts of anthropogenic sources of direct bird mortality, including predation by free-ranging pet and feral cats, and collisions with buildings, wind turbines, power lines, and vehicles.

Recent publications


  • Beston, J.A., Diffendorfer, J., Loss, S.R., Johnson, D.H. 2016. Prioritizing avian species for their risk of population level consequences from wind energy development. PLoS ONE In Press.
  • Loss, S.R. 2016. Avian interactions with energy infrastructure in the context of other anthropogenic threats. The Condor: Ornithological Applications In Press.
  • Johnson, D.H., Loss, S.R., Smallwood, K.S., Erickson, W.P. 2016. Avian fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America: a comparison of recent approaches. Human-Wildlife Interactions In Press.
  • Paudel, S., Longcore, T., MacDonald, B., McCormick, M.K., Szlavecz, K.,Wilson, G.W.T., Loss, S.R. 2016. Belowground interactions with aboveground consequences: Invasive earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Ecology In Press.
  • Loss, S.R., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2015. Direct mortality of birds from anthropogenic causes. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 46:99-120.
  • Marra, P.P., Cohen, E.B., Loss, S.R., Rutter, J.E., Tonra, C.M. 2015. A call for full annual cycle research in animal ecology. Biology Letters 11(8).
  • Diffendorfer, J.E., Erickson, R., Heist, K., Johnson, D.H., Loss, S.R., Thogmartin, W., Merrill, M., Corum, M. 2015. Draft methodology to assess the impact of wind energy development on birds and bats. U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5066, 40 p.
  • Loss, S.R., Loss, S.S., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2015. Linking place-based citizen science with large-scale conservation research: A case study of bird-building collisions and the role of professional scientists. Biological Conservation 184:439-445.
  • Beston, J.A., Diffendorfer, J.E. Loss, S.R. 2015. Insufficient sampling to identify species affected by wind turbine collisions. Journal of Wildlife Management 79:513-517.
  • Loss, S.R., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2014. Estimates of bird collision and electrocution mortality at power lines in the United States. PLoS ONE 9:e101565.
  • Loss, S.R., Blair, R.B. 2014. Earthworm invasions and the decline of clubmosses (Lycopodiumspp.) that enhance nest survival rates of a ground-nesting songbird. Forest Ecology and Management 324:64-71
  • Loss, S.R., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2014. Estimates of annual bird mortality from vehicle collisions on roads in the United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:763-771.
  • Loss, S.R., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2014. Bird-building collisions in the United States: estimates of annual mortality and species vulnerability. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 116:8-23.
  • Loss, S.R., Will, T., Marra, P.P. 2013. Estimates of bird collision mortality at wind farms in the United States. Biological Conservation 168:201-209.
  • Loss, S.R., Hueffmeier, R.M., Hale, C.M., Host, G.E., Sjerven, J., Frelich, L.E. 2013. Earthworm invasions in northerninvasions in northern hardwoods forests: a rapid assessment method. Natural Areas Journal 33:21-30.
  • Davis, A.Y., Belaire, J.A., Farfan, M.A., Milz, D., Sweeney, E.R., Loss, S.R., Minor, E.S. 2012. Green infrastructure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services across an urban socioeconomic gradient. Ecosphere 3:105.
  • Hamer, S.A., Goldberg, T.L., Kitron, U.D., Brawn, J.D., Anderson, T.K., Loss, S.R., Tsao, J.I., Walker, E.D., Hamer, G.L. 2012. Wild birds in the urban ecology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases 18:1589-1595.
  • Loss, S.R., Marra, P.P, Will, T. 2012. Direct human-caused mortality of birds: improving quantification of magnitude and assessment of population impacts. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10:357–364.
  • Loss, S.R. 2012. Nesting density of Hermit Thrushes in a remnant invasive earthworm-free portion of a Wisconsin hardwood forest. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124:375-379.
  • Loss, S.R., Niemi, G.J., Blair, R.B. 2012. Invasions of non-native earthworms related to population declines of ground-nesting songbirds across a regional extent in northern hardwood forests of North America. Landscape Ecology 27:683-696.
  • Loss, S.R., Blair, R.B. 2011. Reduced density and nest survival of ground-nesting songbirds relative to earthworm invasions in northern hardwood forests. Conservation Biology 5:983-993.
  • Loss, S.R., Ruiz, M.O., Brawn, J.D. 2009. Relationships between avian diversity, neighborhood age, income, andenvironmental characteristics of an urban landscape. Biological Conservation 142:2578-2585.
  • Loss, S.R., Terwilliger, L.T., Peterson, A.C. 2011. Assisted colonization: Integrating conservation techniques in the face of climate change. Biological Conservation 142:92-100.
  • Loss, S.R., Hamer, G.L., Walker, E.D., Ruiz, M.O., Goldberg, T.L., Kitron, U.D., Brawn, J.D. 2009. Avian host community structure and prevalence of West Nile virus in Chicago, Illinois. Oecologia 159:415-24.
  • Loss, S.R., Hamer, G.L., Goldberg, T.L., Ruiz, M.O., Kitron, U.D., Walker, E.D., Brawn, J.D. 2009. Nestling passerines are not important hosts for amplification of West Nile virus in Chicago, Illinois. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 9:13-18.
  • Hamer, G.L., Chaves, L.F., Anderson, T.K., Kitron, U.D., Brawn, J.D., Ruiz, M.O., Loss, S.R., Hamer, G.L., Goldberg, T.L. 2011. Fine-scale variation in vector host use and force of infection drive localized patterns of West Nile virus transmission. PLOS One 6:e23767.
  • Hamer, G.L., Kitron, U.D., Goldberg, T.L., Brawn, J.D., Loss, S.R., Ruiz, M.O., Hayes, D.B., Walker, E.D. 2009. Host selection by Culex pipiens mosquitoes and West Nile virus transmission. Amer. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 80:268-278.
  • Bertolotti, L., Kitron, U.D., Walker, E.D., Ruiz, M.O., Brawn, J.D., Loss, S.R., Hamer, G.L., Goldberg, T.L. 2008. Fine-scale genetic variation and evolution of West Nile virus in a suburban “hot spot” in Chicago. Virology 374: 381-389.
  • Hamer, G.L., Walker, E.D., Brawn, J.D., Loss, S.R. Ruiz, M.O., Goldberg, T.L., Schotthoefer, A.M., Brown, W.M., Wheeler, E., Kitron, U.D. 2008. Rapid amplification of West Nile virus: The role of hatch-year birds. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 8:57-68.
  • Hamer, G.L., Kitron, U.D., Brawn, J.D., Loss, S.R., Ruiz, M.O., Goldberg, T.L., Walker, E.D. 2008.Culex pipiens(Diptera: Culicidae): a bridge vector of West Nile virus to humans. Journal of Medical