Danny Hofstadter

PhD Student


My research interests are heavily focused on the conservation of spotted owls, in particular on how spotted owl conservation relates to the recent arrival of barred owls in forests of western North America. Barred owls were formerly confined to the forests of eastern North America, but were able to spread westward likely due to anthropogenic changes to the Great Plains. As a result of their similar ecological niche to congeneric spotted owls and their more aggressive behavior, they have become an existential threat to spotted owls. However, due to their more generalist diet and higher reproductive output, they likely pose a threat not only to spotted owls, but to western forest ecosystems more broadly. Experimental barred owl removal studies are now taking place throughout the Pacific Northwest and California that are aimed at elucidating several questions: (1) whether removals are effective at lowering barred owl populations, (2) if barred owl removal confers benefits on spotted owls, (3) what species barred owls are consuming in western forests, and (4) how barred owls are dispersing across their invasion front. My research is aimed at answering some of these ecological questions in California’s Sierra Nevada and Coast Range to assist policymakers in making more informed decisions on whether or not to implement barred owl management for the benefit of spotted owls and for the conservation of western forest ecosystems.


M.Sc. Forest and Wildlife Ecology | University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2021

B.S. Biology | Indiana University, 2012

Hofstadter, D.F., N.F. Kryshak, C.M. Wood, B.P. Dotters, K.N. Roberts, K.G. Kelly, J.J. Keane, S.C. Sawyer, P.A. Shaklee, H.A. Kramer, R.J. Gutiérrez, and M.Z. Peery (In press). Arresting the spread of invasive species in continental systems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Hofstadter, D.F., N.F. Kryshak, M.W.Gabriel, C.M. Wood, G.M. Wengert, B.P. Dotters, K.N. Roberts, E.D. Fountain, K.G. Kelly, J.J. Keane, S.A. Whitmore, W.J. Berigan, and M.Z. Peery (2021). High rates of anticoagulant rodenticide exposure in California Barred Owls are associated with the wildland-urban interface. Ornithological Applications, 123: 1-13.

Wood, C.M., N.F. Kryshak, M. Gustafson, D.F. Hofstadter, B.K. Hobart, S.A. Whitmore, B.P. Dotters, K.N. Roberts, J.J. Keane, S.C. Sawyer, R.J. Gutiérrez, and M.Z. Peery (2021). Density dependence influences competition and hybridization at an invasion front. Diversity and Distributions, 27:901–912.