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Gerald R. Urquhart, Ph.D.

Gerald R.   Urquhart
  • Associate Professor
  • Biology
  • Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Holmes Hall, E-186
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 353-1759


Dr. Urquhart is a biologist with specialization in tropical wildlife ecology. His research focuses on how human activity influences biodiversity in the rainforests of Central and South America. In these last wild places on earth, it is critical that we develop our understanding of how to best conserve the immense biodiversity. Dr. Urquhart's approach combines basic research with applied conservation solutions. Dr. Urquhart's roots as a scientist developed early but he credits his time as an undergraduate student in Lyman Briggs as the defining period on his path toward teaching and research. After pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and a postdoc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, he returned to Lyman Briggs in 1999. Dr. Urquhart has a joint appointment in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • B.S., Zoology, Michigan State University (Lyman Briggs College)


  • 2005: Outstanding Service to Study Abroad Award, International Studies and Programs, Michigan State University
  • 2004: Outstanding Faculty Award, MSU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Michigan State University



  • National Science Foundation, (Foster, Weatherspoon, Vannocker, Urquhart, Siegford, Shipman, Schumacher, Roth, Ording, Millenbah, Lucas), Careers in Food, Energy, and the Environment - an Interdisciplinary Approach. [2017–2021] $999,983
  • National Science Foundation, (Moran, Urquhart, Pokhrel, Mueller, Moore, Lu, Lopez, Hyndman), INFEWS/T3: Rethinking Dams: Innovative Hydropower Solutions to Achieve Sustainable Food and Energy Production, and Sustainable Communities. [2017–2020] $1,135,923
  • Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, (Urquhart), Nicaragua Baird's Tapir Conservation Initiative. [2012–2014] $25,000
  • MSU Internationalizing the Student Experience Program, (G. R. Urquhart and D. B. Kramer), Bringing the International Back to Campus: Video Vignettes in Classroom Teaching. [2010–2010] $15,000
  • National Science Foundation, (Kramer, Urquhart, McCright, Allen, Qi), The Connection of Remote Communities: Environmental Effects. [2008–2013] $1,057,121
  • National Science Foundation TUES Grant, (J.J. Smith, M. Heidemann, G.R. Urquhart, C. Murphy, Williams), Integrative Case Studies in Evolution Education. [2001–2001] $199,797


  • Huete-Perez, J. A., M. Ortega-Hegg, G. R. Urquhart, A. P. Covich, K. Vammen, B. E. Rittmann, J. C. Miranda, S. Espinoza-Corriols, A. Acevedo, M. L. Acosta, J. P. Gomez, M. T. Brett, M. Hanemann, A. Harer, J. Incer-Barquero, F. J. Joyce, J. W. Lauer, J. M. Maes, M. B. Tomson, A. Meyer, S. Montengero-Guillen, W. L. Whitlow, J. L. Schnoor, and P. J. J. Alvarez. 2016. Critical Uncertainties and Gaps in the Environmental- and Social-Impact Assessment of the Proposed Interoceanic Canal through Nicaragua. BioScience. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biw064
  • Jordan, C. A., C. Schank, G. R. Urquhart, and A. J. Dans. 2016. Terrestrial Mammal Occupancy in the Context of Widespread Forest Loss and a Proposed Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua's Decreasingly Remote Southern Caribbean Coast. PLoS One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0151372.
  • Huete-Pérez, J. A., P. J. J. Alvarez, J. L. Schnoor, B. E. Rittmann, A. Clayton, M. L. Acosta, C. E. de Mattos Bicudo, M. T. Kalin Arroyo, M. T. Brett, V. M. Campos, H. Chaimovich, A. Covich, B. E. Jimenez-Cisneros, L. D. Lacerda, J. M. Maes, J. C. Miranda, S. Montenegro Guillen, M. Ortega Hegg, G. Urquhart, K. Vammen, and L. Zambrano Gonzalez. 2015. Scientists Raise Alarms About Fast Tracking of Transoceanic Canal through Nicaragua. Environmental Science & Technology 49 (7): 3989–3996. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b0021
  • Upton, A. J., W. A. Lovis, and G. R. Urquhart. 2015. An empirical test of shell tempering as an alkaline agent in the nixtamalization process. Journal of Archaeological Science 62 (2015) 39-44.
  • Stevens, K., B. Irwin, D. Kramer, and G. Urquhart. 2014. Impact of increasing market access on a tropical small-scale fishery. Marine Policy 50:46–52.
  • Jordan, C. A., and G. R. Urquhart. 2013. Baird’s tapirs Tapirus bairdii in Nicaragua. Tapir Conservation 22: 14-21.
  • McCright, A. M., B. W. O’Shea, R. D. Sweeder, G. R. Urquhart, and A. K. Zeleke. 2013. Promoting interdisciplinarity through climate change education. Nature Climate Change 3: 713-716. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1844
  • Hart, J. P., W. A. Lovis, G. R. Urquhart, and E. A. Reber. 2013. Modeling freshwater reservoir offsets on radiocarbon-dated charred cooking residues. American Antiquity 78(3): 536–552.
  • Jordan, C. A. and G. R. Urquhart. 2011. Wildlife of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe de Nicaragua. 64 pp. Sarikas, C., and G. R. Urquhart. 2012.
  • Survival of Dipteryx oleifera (Fabaceae) trees after Hurricane Ida in Nicaragua. Journal of Tropical Ecology 28: 327-329. *lead author was LBC undergraduate student.