Karen DeMatteo, PhD

Lecturer (GIS) - Environmental Studies at Washington University in St Louis
Adjunct Assistant Professor (GIS) – Department of Biology at University of Missouri-St. Louis
Adjunct Research Associate – WildCare Institute at the Saint Louis Zoo

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Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 2004
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, M.S. in Zoology and Physiology, 1995
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1991

Research Interests

While my research interests are diverse, they are focused on understanding the basic biology and ecological interactions that occur at both the species and community level. I have used a variety of approaches to address this research question including behavioral ecology, physiological ecology, reproductive physiology, general ecology, ecological genetics, and species’ distribution/status. My research has been conducted with both wild and captive populations, as the latter can provide insight into basic biological information that may be impossible to collect in the field. I have conducted field research in several Neotropical countries including Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The majority of these field studies have been focused on understanding the community structure of Neotropical carnivores.

Ongoing Project:

I am conducting a collaborative study with Argentinean colleagues using three noninvasive techniques (detection dogs to locate scat, genetic analyses of scats, GIS technology) to determine how five landscape carnivores (jaguar, puma, bush dog, ocelot, oncilla) are moving both in and between protected areas in the northern-central regions in the province of Misiones Argentina. The goal is to expand our knowledge of how these species are moving through the landscape so we can determine locations for biological corridors/wildlife crossings that maximize animal movement and minimize human-wildlife conflict. Three critical components to the success of this research program are the involvement of local undergraduate/graduate students in the field work, extensive training programs on the techniques used in the study, and an intensive conservation education program for the primary/secondary schools in the region. Learn about the ongoing progress of this project at

Karen DeMatteo's CV