Bill McShea

Bill McShea is an ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). The Appalachian Trail runs through the research center which is located at the northern tip of Shenandoah National Park in Front Royal, Virginia.

McShea's first focus at SCBI was the role of white-tailed deer in shaping plant and wildlife populations that share eastern deciduous forests. This work expanded to look at the interaction between deer and invasive plant species and disease transmission. The focus on deer led McShea to become the co-chairman of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Deer Specialist Group, which is responsible for setting Red List status for all deer species. In addition to deer, McShea works with Chinese colleagues to conserve large mammals such as giant pandas, takin, and Asiatic black bears in bamboo forests of China.

His current focus is on informing management of wildlife in forest and grassland ecosystems. A good part of his time and effort is in Asia, both supporting conservation efforts on forest mammals and mentoring young professionals to use science to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

He received his BS from Bucknell University, an MS in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire in 1981, and his PhD from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1985. He has been a research ecologist at SCBI since 1986.

April 23, 2024

Hogs, Chipmunks, and Bears, Oh My!

On today’s episode of The Green Tunnel, we are exploring a central reason why hikers head to the Appalachian Trail in the first place, to see wildlife. We’ll also talk about how the animals along the trail are changing the w…