Dr. Darcy Visscher

Assistant Professor, Biology P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8121 F: 780-465-3534
  • PhD Ecology, University of Alberta, 2010
  • M.Sc. Mammalogy, University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2002
  • B.Sc. ENVS Biology, The King's University College, 2000

Darcy’s education includes a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies (Biology) from The King’s University in 2000, a MSc in African Mammalogy from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Ph.D in Ecology from the University of Alberta in 2010. His primary research interest is the role that behaviour plays in ecological processes, in particular, how animals trade-off foraging reward and predation risk. He investigates these topics using the three pronged approach of developing theory, building models to test theory, and grounding these results using statistical analysis of field data.


  • Investigations into the population level consequences of the non-consumptive effects of predation on porcupine.
  • The role of human disturbance in altering the spatial and temporal distribution of ungulates and canids.
  • Factors influencing the zoonotic potential of Echinococcus in peri-urban canids.
  • Predation risk-sensitive foraging in urban birds.

Van Moorter, B, DR Visscher, I Herfindal, M Basille and A Mysterud. (2011) Inferring behavioural mechanisms in habitat selection studies getting the null-hypothesis right for functional and familiarity responses. Accepted in Ecography.

Van Moorter B, DR Visscher, CL Jerde, JL Frair, and EH Merrill. (2010) Identifying movement states from location data using cluster analysis. Journal of Wildlife Management.74:588-594.

McKenzie HW, CL Jerde, DR Visscher, EH Merrill, and MA Lewis. (2009) Inferring linear feature use in the presence of GPS measurement error. Environmental and Ecological Statistics. 16:531-546.

Van Moorter B, DR Visscher, S Benhamou, L Borger, M Boyce, and JM Gaillard. (2009) Memory keeps you at home: A mechanistic home range model. Okios. 118:641-652.

Visscher DR and EH Merrill. (2009) Temporal dynamics of forage succession for elk at two scales: Implications for forest management. Forest Ecology and Management. 257:96-106.

Visscher DR. (2006) GPS measurement error and resource selection functions in a fragmented landscape. Ecography. 29:458-464.

Visscher DR, EH Merrill, D Fortin, and JL Frair. (2006) Estimating woody browse availability for ungulates at increasing snow depths. Forest Ecology and Management. 222:348-354.

Jerde CL and DR Visscher. (2005) GPS measurement error influences on movement model parameterization. Ecological Applications. 15:806-810.

Frair, JL, EH Merrill, DR Visscher, D Fortin, H Beyer, and JM Morales. (2005) Scales of movement by elk (Cervus elaphus) in response to heterogeneity in forage resources and predation risk. Landscape Ecology. 20:273-287.

Visscher DR, RJ van Aarde, and I Whyte. (2004) Environmental and maternal correlates of foetal sex ratios in the African buffalo and savannah elephant. Journal of Zoology (London).