John Cox
Assistant Professor

Professional Profile

John J. Cox is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology in the Department of Forestry where he teaches several wildlife and conservation courses (FOR 101, FOR 230, FOR 360, FOR 550, FOR 770). He also assists with instruction of the FOR spring field camp and NRES summer camp. He has taught graduate experiential learning courses in Florida, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the Chihuahuan desert of the southwestern U.S. Dr. Cox has advised over two dozen graduate, and many undergraduate students in their research. He is a proponent of self-determination theory for understanding and guiding student learning, professional and personal growth.

Dr. Cox’s past research has primarily focused on the ecology, conservation, and management of terrestrial vertebrates, including black bear, elk, Florida panther, coyote, gray fox, bobcat, bison, moose, common raven, breeding birds, salamanders, pit vipers, including investigation of various animal disease and parasitological issues with theses species.

His current research focuses on the ecology, disease, and population dynamics of elk, black bear, and white-tailed deer, assessment of leopard population dynamics in southern Kenya, landscape genetics of pit vipers in KY, effects of timber harvest on salamander and breeding bird communities, and the impacts of herbivory, fire, and competition on Bluegrass savanna-woodland tree communities.

Dr. Cox is a Certified Wildlife Biologist® and active member of The Wildlife Society, Society for Conservation Biology, KY Ornithological Society, KY Native Plant Society, KY Society of Natural History, and The Aldo Leopold Foundation.


Dr. Cox received his BS (1995) and MS (1997) in Biology from Morehead State University, and his PhD (2003) in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky.