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North Carolina State University – Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences PhD Program

North Carolina State University – Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences PhD Program

      General Purpose 

    The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences program (FWP) offers doctoral education that integrates the study of wild terrestrial and aquatic organisms, their management as important natural resources, and their conservation.  In a world where rapidly expanding human populations place stress on natural and human dominated ecosystems, new knowledge and expertise must be generated at a rapid pace to successfully sustain a balanced biosphere and acceptable lifestyles. The funded research of the Fisheries and Wildlife Program faculty continually generates important new knowledge addressing key environmental issues  ranging from advanced technical solutions (pathogen detection, identification of critical habitat, etc.), to novel integrated philosophical and scientific approaches to challenges at the human/wildlife interface.  Doctoral students in the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences will have the opportunity to participate in and gain valuable experience from this research. The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Doctorate is designed to prepare creative scholars with a solid foundation in use of the scientific method, and the integration of new knowledge into practical applications to meet the conservation challenges of the 21st century. Graduates will have the tools to lead efforts to counter declining biodiversity, the collapse of global fisheries, the spread of invasive exotic species, and the impact of diseases capable of devastating wild populations or spreading to domestic stock, and humans. The successful doctoral candidate will understand the need to integrate human socio-political and economic interests into research and development activities including subsistence and recreational use of fish and wildlife.  

       Educational Objectives 

    The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Doctoral program seeks to graduate students who will become the leaders in higher education, natural resources policy and human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife conservation and in developing strategies to sustain the health and well being of wild populations of all animal species. Doctoral students in this program will achieve the following objectives: 

  1. Pose and solve research questions pertaining to understanding how ecosystems support fish and wildlife populations, and apply their findings to developing sustainable conservation strategies for such communities.
  1. Work with faculty to produce a new synthesis of cutting edge scientific approaches to fisheries and wildlife sciences such as applied ecological theory, remote sensing techniques, digital, and biotechnology with the complex questions of human dimensions in fisheries and wildlife science. This synthesis will position the Fisheries and Wildlife profession to meet the fish and wildlife conservation challenges of the 21st century, and prepare the doctoral student to lead in that effort.
  1. Master the central theories of wildlife and fisheries population ecology and integrate these paradigms with the evolving understanding of anthropogenic impacts on wild biota. The doctoral student will develop strategies to match supply with demand while maintaining functional ecosystems
  1. Prepare to be teachers who can effectively instruct and motivate undergraduates and mentor graduate students in the concepts and principles of fisheries and wildlife sciences and integrated natural resources management.
  1. Acquire experience with quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, conceptual and simulation models, spatial analyses, and assessment of social, political and economic influences on conservation policy.
  1. Become effective communicators able to translate new knowledge to students, peers and the public via lectures, service learning, public programs, popular news outlets, professional meetings and the primary literature.


    The new Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences is a direct extension of the existing nationally recognized masters program in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at NCSU.  It is administered by the same faculty who have their primary appointments in the departments of Forestry and Environmental Resources in The College of Natural Resources, the departments of Zoology, Entomology, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and Agriculture and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the departments of Clinical Sciences and Population Health and Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  These faculty participate in graduate training for the Forestry and Environmental Resources, Zoology and Comparative Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs among others.  


visit  for additional information 

and contact any of the following: 

Michael K. Stoskopf, DVM, PhD, D.ACZM  at

Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf, DVM, PhD, D.ACZM at

Craig Harms, DVM, PhD, D.ACZM at  


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