Welcome to the Causey Lab
at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Douglas Causey, PhD

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

The Causey lab, in the Department of Biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, studies complex socioecological phenomena associated with climate change of the Arctic in several interdisciplinary contexts. Current projects include population and landscape genetics of Least and Bering cisco of northern Alaska, molecular genetics of haematozoan parasites of Brown Bears, migration demographics of White-Fronted Geese, subsistence and population dynamics of Yukon-Kuskokwim waterbirds, and ecosystem dynamics of marine bird communities of the High and Low Arctic.

Current Professional Roles

Senior Research Advisor, Applied Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013

Senior Advisor to the Chancellor on Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013

Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2005

Affiliate Professor of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010

Affiliate Professor, Alaska Zoonotic Disease Center, University of Alaska, 2006


1982 Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

1980 M. S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

1977 M. S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine

1974 B. S. Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine (with Honors)

Prior Professional Experience

Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-2011

Founding Dean, Graduate School, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2007-2008

Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2005-2008

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2003 - 2005

Senior Biologist, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 2000 - 2005

Program Director, NIH/NSF, Evolution and Ecology of Infectious Disease, 1998 - 2000

Program Director, DEB-Biotic Surveys & Inventories, Systematic Biology, Population Biology, National Science Foundation, 1998 – 2000

Program Director, DBI-Biological Research Collections, Field Stations and Marine Laboratories, National Science Foundation, 1998 - 2000

Program Officer, OPP-Arctic Sciences, National Science Foundation, 1996 - 1998

Director, Nebraska State Biological Survey, 1993 – 1995

Research Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska, 1993 - 2000

Research Professor, Dept. Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, 1982 - 1993

Instructor (Biology), Kansas State Corrections Department, Topeka, Kansas 1992 - 1993

Research Biologist, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 1981 – 1982

Research and Teaching

I have published over 140 papers in refereed outlets. Currently, I have 1 PhD student and 5 MS students. I finished 6 MS students and 13 PhD students, supported 2 Postdoctoral students, and additionally served on 28 MS and PhD graduate committees. I have been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $11,000,000 in outside support. My published research is focused in the areas of disease ecology of avian zoonotic pathogens, finite systems epidemiology of infectious disease, evolutionary biology including coevolution of viruses and avian hosts, and environmental science.

Recent Invited Talks

2014 Center for Disease Control, “Public Health-Related Research in a Rapidly Changing Arctic,” Anchorage, Alaska

2014 Western Alaska Integrated Science Conference, “Subsistence Hunting Predicts Waterfowl Abundance in Western Alaska,” Kotzebue, Alaska

2014 Alaska Forum for the Environment, “Stewardship of the Arctic,” Anchorage, Alaska

2013 Center for Disease Control, “Dynamics of environmental reservoirs and mammalian vectors/hosts for viral zoonotic disease”

2010 UN FAO, International Working Group on Avian Zoonotic Disease Ecology, Hakodate, Japan, “Environmental reservoirs in disease transmission modalities for HPAI (avian influenza)”

Recent Workshops and Symposia

2014 American Society of Virologists, Infectious Diseases of Bats Symposium, Colorado State University

2014 Alaska Forum for the Environment, “The Effects of Rapid Change in the Arctic,” Anchorage, Alaska

2014 Bering Sea Open Science Meeting, “Dynamics of Fine-scale Spatial and Temporal Change in the Western Aleutian Islands Over Decadal to Millenial Scales,” Honolulu, HI

2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting, “Fine-scale Spatial and Temporal Effects of Rapid Environmental Change on Greenland High Arctic Coastal Marine Communities,” Honolulu, HI

2014 Arctic Encounter Symposium, Seattle University, “Arctic Environmental Security,” Seattle WA

2014 Arctic Council, Arctic Adaptation to Environmental Change Working Group, “Sustainability Under Rapid Environmental Change in the Arctic,” Anchorage, AK

Teaching Experience

Courses (UAA):, Advanced Topics in Disease Ecology, Advanced Ecological Genetics, Advanced Topics in Infectious Disease, Conservation Biology, Population Genetics, Principles of Evolution, Exploration Ecology

Courses (Harvard University, University of Nebraska): Environmental Biology, Environmental Science, Evolution, Field Ornithology, Field Techniques in Environmental Science, Macroevolution, Molecular Systematics, Molecular Techniques in Ecology, National Security and the Environment, Phylogenetics,Vertebrate Zoology

Selected Research Publications

In Progress

Causey, D., N.A. Bargmann, N. Wolf, K.A. Hobson, J.M. Welker. Submitted. Lipid Extraction and the Fugacity of Change in Stable Isotopic Values. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

Sawyer, R. J., S. A. Sonsthagen, S. L. Talbot, G. K. Sage, S. Farley, and D. Causey. Submitted. Haematozoan Parasites and Host Genetics of Brown and Black Bears in Southcentral Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

Schock, W., J. M. Welker, and D. Causey. Submitted. Breeding Ground Origins of Midcontinent Greater White-fronted Geese from Interior and Northwest Alaska. Canadian Journal of Zoology

Bargmann, N. A., K. K. Burnham, J. H. Burnham, V. M. Padula, J. M. Welker, D. Causey. In Progress. Comparative Response to Change in the Marine Bird Ecosystems in Alaska and Greenland.

Bargmann, N. A., V. M. Padula, and D. Causey. In Progress. Comparison of Stable Isotope Techniques Using Seabirds of the Near Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

Causey, D., N. A. Bargmann, and V. M. Padula. In Progress. Trophic Ecology of Marine Birds of the Far Western Aleutian Islands.

Causey, D., R. J. Sawyer, N. A. Bargmann, and V. M. Padula. In Progress. Complex Foodweb Dynamics of Marine Bird Communities of the High and Low Arctic.

McFadden, L. M., R. Campbell, J. M. Welker, and D. Causey. In Progress. Distribution and Ecology of Zooplankton and Juvenile Pelagic Fishes in the Copper River Plume.

Padula, V. M., N. A. Bargmann, S. Ali, and D. Causey. In Progress. Plastics, Phthlates, and PCB Contamination of Seabirds from the Aleutian Islands.

Sawyer, R. J. and D. Causey. In Progress. The behavior of network metrics across time and space in highly nested food webs.


Causey, D., J.M. Welker, K.K. Burnham, V.M. Padula, and N.A. Bargmann. 2014. Fine-Scale Temporal and Spatial Patterns of a High Arctic Marine Bird Community. Pp. 171-189, In: F.J. Mueter, D.M.S. Dickson, H.P. Huntington, J.R. Irvine, E.A. Logerwell, S.A. MacLean, L.T. Quakenbush, and C. Rosa (eds.), Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks. pdf

Causey, D. and V.M. Padula. 2014. Marine Birds: Pelecaniformes. Elsevier Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences [DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.09127-2]pdf


Causey, D. and V.M. Padula. 2013. The Pelecaniform Birds. Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences 4: 2128-2136.


Causey, D., Thomas Corbett, and Debra G. Corbett. 2010a. The Physical Setting of Shemya Island. Aurora 8: 55 – 69.pdf

Savinetsky, A. B., N. K. Kiseleva, B. F. Khassanov, D. Causey, T. Corbett, D. L. West, C. Lefevre, and D. G. Corbett. 2010b. Paleoenvironment—Holocene Deposits From Shemya Island. Aurora 8: 71 – 82.pdf

Causey, D., Thomas Corbett, and Debra G. Corbett. 2010c. The Biology and Ecology of Shemya Island. Aurora 7: 83 – 92.pdf

Causey, D. and S. Loring. 2010d. Short-tailed Albatross (Diomedea [Phoebastria] albatrus). Aurora 7: 99 – 105.pdf

Causey, D. 2010e. Terrestrial Plants, Marine Plants, Marine Invertebrates, Fish, Birds, and Mammals of the Western Aleutians. Aurora 7: 213 – 241.Terrestrial Plants, Marine Plants, Marine Invertebrates and Tunicates, Fish, Birds


Causey D and SV Edwards. 2008. Ecology of Avian Influenza Virus in Birds. Journal of Infectious Disease 197 (Suppl 1): S29-S33.pdf

Hashmi D and D Causey. 2008. A System in Which Available Energy Per Se Controls Alpha Diversity: Marine Pelagic Birds. American Naturalist 171: 419-429.pdf


Corbett DG, D Causey, M Clementz, A Doroff, C Lefèvre, D West. 2007. Aleut hunters, Sea Otters, and Sea Cows: 3,000 years of interactions in the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska. In: Rick T, P Kirch, D Kennett (eds.), Human Impacts on Marine Environments, University of California Press.

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