Alumna: McHugh


Katherine A. McHugh

Position: Graduate Student

Campus Address:
Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Phone: (530) 752-5830

Email: spam free email link to Katie McHugh


Present: University of California, Davis - Doctoral Candidate, Animal Behavior Graduate Group

2006: University of California, Davis - M.S. Animal Behavior

2002: Stanford University - M.S. Earth Systems (marine conservation)

2001: Stanford University - B.S. with distinction Earth Systems, with Honors in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy.

Research Interests:

I am interested in studying the social behavior and behavioral ecology of small cetaceans, particularly in learning more about the strategies juvenile dolphins use to successfully navigate the fragile and formative period between weaning and sexual maturity and how adult behavior patterns, skills, and relationships develop through adolescence (see project page here). Use of GIS to analyze dolphin ranging patterns and habitat use.  Applications of animal behavior to conservation biology/policy and captive animal welfare.


Sih, A., McHugh, K., Hanser, S. In press/2008. Social Network Theory – Applications to Animal Behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Sergio, F., Caro, T., Brown, D., Clucas, B., Hunter, J., Ketchum, J., McHugh, K., Hiraldo, F. 2008. Top predators as conservation tools: ecological rationale, assumptions, and efficacy. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, Vol. 39: 1-19. doi:10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173545

Clucas, B., McHugh, K., Caro, T. 2008. Use of flagship species by US conservation and nature magazines. Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 17: 1517-1528.


McHugh, K.A., S. Hoffman, J.B. Allen, M.D. Scott, and R.S. Wells. 2007. Factors influencing variation in age at independence for free-ranging bottlenose dolphin calves in Sarasota Bay, FL. Oral Presentation, 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, 28 Nov–3 Dec 2007, Cape Town, South Africa.

McHugh, K. and R.S. Wells. 2007. Red tide effects on juvenile bottlenose dolphin behavior in Sarasota Bay, FL. Oral Presentation at 44th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, 21-26 July 2007, Burlington, VT.

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