University of Calgary

Kathreen Ruckstuhl

  • Associate Professor
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in what drives gregariousness, the social organization within groups, affinities and associations between group members, cost and benefits of group living, such as competition for food and mates, parasite and disease transmission, and cooperation, to name but a few aspects. I mainly study different ungulate species in the field, mostly bighorn sheep and elk (or red deer). Current topics under investigation include among others: Sociality: costs and benefits of group living and decision-making; dominance hierarchies and hormones in bighorn sheep; red deer and bighorn sheep social networks and disease dynamics; sociality, mate choice and parasites in bighorns; effect of urbanization on coyotes and elk, and effects of stress hormones on offspring sex ratio in humans and Columbian ground squirrels.


2010 – Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge, UK.
2007 - Alberta ingenuity New Faculty Award 2007
2008 - The Eppley Foundation for Research and National Geographic Society Awards (jointly with Dr. J.T. Hogg, MOSCI) 
2003 - Canada-UK Millenium Research Award 
2003 - Visiting Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK.

Selected Publications

  • Google Scholar Link
  • Manuel Antonio González, Beatriz Blanco-Fontao, Daniel Martínez, Alejandro Santos-Fuentes, Peter Neuhaus, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl (2017): Preliminary results on snow surveys of Pyrenean grey partridge (Perdix perdix hispaniensis) in the Cantabrian Mountains. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 63: 81.
  • David Blank, Kathreen Ruckstuhl and W. Yang (2017): Development of juvenile goitered gazelle social behavior during the hiding period. Behavioural Processes. 144C, 82-88.
  • Stefano Liccioli, Sean Rogers, Claudia Greco, Susan J. Kutz, Florence Chan, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl and Alessandro Massolo. 2015. Assessing individual patterns of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in urban coyotes: non-invasive genetic sampling as an epidemiological tool. J. Appl. Ecol. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12401
  • Stefano Liccioli, Carly Bialowas, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl, Alessandro Mas- solo. 2015. Feeding Ecology Informs Parasite Epidemiology: Prey Selec- tion Modulates Encounter Rate with Echinococcus multilocularis in Urban Coyotes. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121646
  • Jesse E.H. Patterson, Peter Neuhaus, Susan J. Kutz, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl (2015) Patterns of ectoparasitism in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus): Sex-biases, seasonality, age, and effects on male body con- dition. International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 4 (3) 301-306
  • D.A. Blank, K. Ruckstuhl, W. Yang. 2015. Antipredator strategy of female goi- tered gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa Guld., 1780) with hiding fawn. Behavioural Processes 119 (2015) 44–49
  • D.A. Blanka, K. Ruckstuhl, W. Yang 2014 Roaring function in male goitered gazelles. Behavioural Processes 106 (2014) 152–159.
  • Daniel Andres, Tim Clutton-Brock, Josephine Pemberton, Loeske Kruuk, Katie Stopher, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl (2013): Sex differences in the consequences of maternal loss in a long-lived vertebrate, the red deer (Cervus elaphus). Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology, DOI 10.1007/s00265-013-1552-3. 
  • Patterson, J. E .H., Neuhaus, P., Susan J. Kutz, and Ruckstuhl K. E. (2013): Ectoparasite removal improves reproductive success of female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). PLOS ONE, Vol. 8, Issue 2, e55779.Patterson JEH, Neuhaus P, Kutz SJ, Ruckstuhl KE. 2013. Parasite removal improves reproductive success of female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). PLoS ONE 8(2): e55779. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055779
  • Fury, Christine, Ruckstuhl, Kathreen, and Harrison, Peter (2013): Spatial and social sexual segregation patterns in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). PLoS ONE 8(1): e52987. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052987
  • Ruckstuhl, K. E., Coljin, G., Vinish, E. and Amiot, V. 2010: Job stress and offspring sex in humans. BiomedCentral Public Health. BMC Public Health, 10:269 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-269. 
  • Ferrari, N., Rosà, R., Lanfranchi, P. and Ruckstuhl, K.E. 2010: Effect of sexual segregation on host-parasite interaction: model simulation for abomasal parasites dynamics in alpine Ibex (Capra ibex). International Journal for Parasitology 40: 1285-1293. 
  • Moquin P, Curry, B., Pelletier, F, and Ruckstuhl K.E. 2010: Plasticity in the rumination behaviour of bighorn sheep: contrasting strategies between the sexes? Animal Behaviour 79:1047–1053. 
  • Brown, N. A., Ruckstuhl, K. E., Donelon. S. and Corbett, C. 2010: Changes in vigilance, grazing behaviour and spatial distribution of bighorn sheep due to cattle presence in Sheep River Provincial Park, Alberta. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 135: 226-231. 
  • Ruckstuhl, K. E. & Neuhaus, P. 2009. Activity budgets and sociality in a monomorphic ungulate: the African oryx (Oryx gazella). Canadian Journal of Zoology 87 (2): 165-174. 
  • Meldrum G. E. & Ruckstuhl K. E. 2009. Mixed-sex group formation by bighorn sheep in winter: trading costs of synchrony for benefits of group living. Animal Behaviour 77: 919-929. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.12.023.


  • Ruckstuhl, K. E. & Neuhaus, P. (2005): Sexual segregation in vertebrates: ecology of the two sexes. Editors: K. E. Ruckstuhl & P. Neuhaus. Cambridge University Press. 488 pages

  • Ruckstuhl, K. E. & Clutton-Brock, T. H. (2005): Sexual segregation and the ecology of the two Sexes. Editors: K. E. Ruckstuhl & P. Neuhaus. Cambridge University Press. Pp: 3-7.

  • Ruckstuhl, K. E.& Neuhaus, P. (2005): Activity asynchrony and social segregation. In: Sexual segregation in vertebrates: ecology of the two sexes. Editors: K. E. Ruckstuhl & P. Neuhaus. Cambridge University Press. Pp: 165-179.
  • Neuhaus, P., Ruckstuhl, K. E.& Conradt, L. (2005): Sexual segregation in vertebrates: Conclusions and future directions for research. Editors: K. E. Ruckstuhl & P. Neuhaus. Cambridge University Press. Pp: 395-402


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