K-State Division of Biology

Brett Sandercock


Brett K. Sandercock


Ph.D. 1997, Simon Fraser University. Wildlife Ecology.

Behavioral ecology; demography; evolutionary ecology; mark-recapture 
statistics; matrix models; ornithology; population biology.

Office phone: (785) 532-0120
Lab Phone: (785) 532-5832

Personal webpage with current information



  • BIOL 201  Organismic Biology (5-credits, Spring semester).
  • BIOL 640  Population Biology (3-credits, Fall semester).
  • BIOL 823  Demographic Methods (3-credits, Fall semester in even years).

Research Focus

My research interests are in population biology, primarily the behavioral ecology and evolutionary ecology of terrestrial vertebrates.  My interests in behavioral ecology have included studies of sexual selection, mating systems, and parental care.  In evolutionary ecology, I have published on life history evolution, and the demography of animals and plants.  My field projects have included population studies of grouse, shorebirds and grassland songbirds, and I have used a mixture of manipulative experiments and observational approaches as part of field studies of marked individuals in wild populations.  Study species have been selected to be model systems for organisms where management and conservation issues are relevant.  I have expertise in estimation of demographic parameters with mark-recapture methods, and modeling population dynamics with projection matrices.  Application of these techniques have often led to collaborations with graduate students at K-State and other institutions.

Recent Publications

  • Leyrer, J., T. Lok, M. Brugge, B. Spaans, B.K. Sandercock, and T. Piersma2013.  Mortality within the annual cycle: seasonal survival patterns in Afro-Siberian Red Knots.  Journal of Ornithology 153:933-943.  
  • Lounsberry, Z.T., J.B. Almeida, T. Grace, R.B. Lanctot, J. Liebezeit, B.K. Sandercock, K.M. Strum, S. Zack, and S.M. Wisely2013.  Range-wide conservation genetics of Buff-breasted Sandpipers (Tryngites subruficollis).  Auk 130:429-439. 
  • McNew, L.B., A.J. Gregory, and B.K. Sandercock2013.  Spatial heterogeneity in habitat selection: nest site selection by Greater Prairie-Chickens.  Journal of Wildlife Management 77:791-801.  
  • Sandercock, B.K., S.M. Wisely, L.B. McNew, A.J. Gregory, V.L. Winder, and L.M. Hunt. 2013.  Environmental impacts of wind power development on the population biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens. U.S. Department of Energy, Final Project Report for Award DOE/EE0000526. doi: 10.2172/1080446 (technical report).  gif 
  • Conard, J.M., B.K. Sandercock, P.S. Gipson, and W.B. Ballard.  2012.  Factors influencing the survival of female elk Cervus elaphus in a harvested population.  Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3:199-208.  gif   
  • Franks, S.E., D.R. Norris, T.K. Keyser, G.J. Fernández, B. Schwarz, R. Carmona, M.A. Colwell, J.C. Sandoval, A. Dondua, H.R. Gates, B. Haase, D.J. Hodkinson, A. Jiménez, R.B. Lanctot, B. Ortego, B.K. Sandercock, F. Sanders, J.Y. Takekawa, N. Warnock, R.C. Ydenberg, and D.B. Lank. 2012. Range-wide patterns of migratory connectivity in the Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri.  Journal of Avian Biology 43:155-167.  
  • Gregory, A.J., R.S.A. Kaler, T.J. Prebyl, B.K. Sandercock, and S.M. Wisely2012.  Influence of translocation strategy and mating system on the genetic structure of a newly established population of island ptarmigan.  Conservation Genetics 13:465-474
  • Leyrer, J., T. Lok, M. Brugge, A. Dekinga, B. Spaans, J.A. van Gils, B.K. Sandercock, and T. Piersma.  2012.  Small-scale demographic structure suggests pre-emptive behaviour in a flocking shorebird.  Behavioral Ecology 23:1226-1233. 
  • McNew, L.B., T.J. Prebyl, and B.K. Sandercock2012.  Effects of rangeland management on the site occupancy dynamics of prairie-chickens in a protected prairie preserve.  Journal of Wildlife Management 76:38-47.  
  • McNew, L.B., A.J. Gregory, S.M. Wisely, and B.K. Sandercock2012.  Demography of Greater Prairie-Chickens: regional variation in vital rates, sensitivity values, and population dynamics.  Journal of Wildlife Management 76:987-1000.  
  • Williams, C.K., B.K. Sandercock, B.M. Collins, M. Lohr, and P.M. Castelli 2012.  A mid-Atlantic and a national population model of northern bobwhite demographic sensitivity. Proceedings of the National Quail Symposium 7:163-172. 
  • Augustine, J.K., J.J. Millspaugh, and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Testosterone mediates mating success in Greater Prairie-Chickens.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:195-208.  
  • Augustine, J.K., and B.K. Sandercock.  2011. Demography of female Greater Prairie-Chickens in unfragmented grasslands in Kansas. Avian Conservation and Ecology-Écologie et Conservation des Oiseaux 6(1):2.  gif   
  • Casey, A.E., B.K. Sandercock, and S.M. Wisely.  2011.  Genetic parentage and local population structure in the socially monogamous Upland Sandpiper. Condor 113:119-128.  
  • Gregory, A.J., L.B. McNew, T.J. Prebyl, B.K. Sandercock, and S.M. Wisely.   2011.  Hierarchical modeling of lek habitats of Greater Prairie-Chickens.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:21-32.   
  • Hagen, C.A., J.C. Pitman, T.M. McLoughlin, B.K. Sandercock, and R.J. Robel.  2011.  Impacts of anthropogenic features on habitat use by Lesser Prairie-Chickens.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:63-75.   
  • Jeffress, M.R., C.P. Paukert, B.K. Sandercock, and P.S. Gipson2011.  Factors affecting the detectability of river otters during sign surveys.  Journal of Wildlife Management 75:144-150.  
  • Jeffress, M.R., C.P. Paukert, J.B. Whittier, B.K. Sandercock, and P.S. Gipson.  2011.  Scale-dependent factors affecting North American river otter distribution in the Midwest. American Midland Naturalist 166:177-193.  
  • Johnson, T.L., J.F. Cully Jr., S.K. Collinge, C. Ray, C.M. Frey, and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics.  Journal of Wildlife Management 75:357-368.  
  • Kaler, R.S.A., and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Effects of translocation on the behavior of island ptarmigan.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:295-306.  
  • McNew, L.B., A.J. Gregory, S.M. Wisely, and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Reproductive biology of a southern population of Greater Prairie-Chickens.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:209-221.  
  • McNew, L.B., A.J. Gregory, S.M. Wisely, and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Human-mediated selection on life-history traits of Greater Prairie-Chickens.  Studies in Avian Biology 39:255-266.
  • Sandercock, B.K., K. Martin, and G. Segelbacher (editors). 2011.  Ecology, Management and Conservation of Grouse Studies in Avian Biology No. 39, Cooper Ornithological Society, University of California Press, Berkeley, California  
  • Sandercock, B.K., E.B. Nilsen, H. Brøseth, and H.C. Pedersen2011.  Is hunting mortality additive or compensatory to natural mortality?  Effects of experimental harvest on the survival and cause-specific mortality of Willow Ptarmigan.  Journal of Animal Ecology 80:244-258.

Complete List of Publications with PDF files


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