Department of Biology
JOHN PASTOR, Professor
John Pastor

B.S., 1974, University of Pennsylvania, Geology
M.S., 1977, University of Wisconsin Madison, Soil Science
Ph.D., 1980, University of Wisconsin Madison, Forestry and Soil Science

Office: 17 SSB
Phone: (218) 726-7001

Office Hours: By Appointment

Curriculum vitae

John Pastor received his Ph.D. in Forestry and Soil Science in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did post-doctoral research in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has been a Senior Research Associate at NRRI since 1984, Professor in Biology since 1996, and Director of Graduate Studies in Biology since 2000. His research and scholarly interests include the structure and function of northern ecosystems, applications of mathematics to ecological problems, and scientific illustration. He teaches Mathematical Ecology, Ecosystems Ecology, Animal Behavior, The Biological Practitioner, and Biological Illustration.


Ecosystems Ecology

Recent Publications

  • Pastor, J. and R. Durkee Walker. 2006. Delays in nutrient cycling and plant population oscillations. Oikos 112: 698-705.
  • Bridgham, S. D., J. Pastor, B. Dewey, J. F. Weltzin, and K. Updegraff. 2008. Rapid carbon response of peatlands to climate change. Ecology 89: 3041-3048.
  • Pastor, J. 2008. Mathematical Ecology of Populations and Ecosystems. Blackwell, Oxford, Great Britain.
  • DeJager, N., J. Pastor, and A. Hodgson. 2009. Scaling the effects of moose browsing on forage distribution, from the geometry of plant canopies to the landscape. Ecological Monographs 79: 281-297.
  • Persson, I-L., M. B. Nilsson, J. Pastor, T. Eriksson, R. Bergström, and K. Danell. 2009. Depression of belowground respiration rates at simulated high moose population densities in boreal forests. Ecology 90: 2724-2733.


  • BIOL 4891 Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 5807 Mathematical Ecology
  • BIOL 5863 Ecosystems Ecology
  • IBS 8011 Integrated Biological Systems

Recent Graduate Student Projects

  • Rachel Durkee Walker, Ph.D. Water Resources Science, 2008. Thesis title: Wild rice: the dynamics of its population cycles and the debate over its control at the Minnesota Legislature

  • Nathan DeJager, Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 2008. Thesis title: Multiple scale spatial dynamics of the moose-forest-soil ecosystem of Isle Royale National Park, MI, USA

  • Diana Ostrowski, M.S. Integrated BioSciences, 2009. Thesis title: White-tailed deer browsing and the conservation of forest songbirds and understory vegetation: A natural experiment within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  • Tonya Connor, M.S. Water Resources Science.

Recent National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates student projects

  • "Illustration of Plant Diversity" by Margot Bergstrom.  2003.
  • "Foraging behavior of free ranging moose" by Katie Standke
  • "Effects of Global Warming on Moss Diversity and Microtopography in Bogs and Fens" by Mark Vonderharr
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