Diefenbach receives award for excellence in wildlife research

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A professor in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has been honored by The Wildlife Society for his wildlife research.

Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit based at Penn State, received the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Wildlife Research during the society's recent annual conference in Milwaukee.

Diefenbach has worked with biologists and wildlife managers at the Pennsylvania Game Commission conducting a wide range of research involving several species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, snowshoe hares, Allegheny woodrats and grassland songbirds.

"He embodies the vision of this award with his sustained, high-quality research that has direct application to high-priority needs in wildlife research, management and conservation," said Ken Williams, executive director with The Wildlife Society. "In his role as unit leader with the U.S. Geological Survey's Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State, he conducts research, teaches and supervises graduate students."

Diefenbach's expertise and experience span multiple disciplines and taxa, Williams noted, adding that his research emphasis is on the estimation of population parameters. Results from Diefenbach's research regularly are incorporated into population management or monitoring strategies and inform further studies that enable managers to better monitor and manage wildlife populations.

"While much of his work has focused on game species in the northeastern United States, it also has included research on declining and sensitive species," Williams said. "His knowledge and expertise are increasingly recognized and sought after at both national and international levels."

According to a news release from The Wildlife Society, Diefenbach is skilled at bringing together a variety of clientele to address research issues and translate results into management applications. And he is willing to tackle complex and controversial research questions while staying true to the scientific process.

"A primary example is his extensive work on white-tailed deer populations and harvest management in Pennsylvania, a controversial subject," the release stated.

"His work has contributed significantly to the scientific foundation of the state's deer-management program, which has included population monitoring, an interagency response plan for managing chronic wasting disease and development of habitat quality metrics."

The Wildlife Society was founded in 1937 and is a nonprofit scientific and educational association of more than 10,000 professional wildlife biologists and managers, dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education.

The group's mission is to represent and serve the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners and others who work actively to study, manage and conserve wildlife and its habitats worldwide.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015