Viorel Popescu

Photo of Viorel Popescu Associate Professor
Ohio University
57 Oxbow Trail
107 Irvine Hall, Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701
Phone: 740-541-0105

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Research Disciplines: Research Interests:

Wildlife Ecology, Population Monitoring, GIS, Biostatistics, Spatial Conservation Planning, Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles

View Viorel's CV

Biographical Sketch

Viorel Popescu is an Associate Professor of Conservation Biology at Ohio University (since 2016), and  holds a researcher appointment at University of Bucharest, Romania. He obtained an MSc from SUNY – Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY (2007), and a PhD in Wildlife Ecology  from the University of Maine, Orono (2011). Between 2011 and 2015 he held several postdoctoral positions at University of California (Berkeley and Santa Cruz), and Simon Fraser University, BC Canada.

His research focuses broadly on understanding wildlife population responses to human disturbance, with a focus mammals (mainly carnivores) and herpetofauna. The research in his lab is in the realm of applied ecology and conservation, with the ultimate goal to inform wildlife management and conservation strategies. For this, his research group uses a combination of experimental and observational approaches, along with population modeling, spatial ecology and biostatistics to evaluate the mechanistic responses of individuals, populations and communities to various human activities and other stressors (forest management, invasive species, exploitation, climate change). Viorel has 10+ year experience working with management agencies, large stakeholder groups, and communities, and coordinating conservation projects. In Ohio, he has close collaborations with Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and US Forest Service – Wayne National Forest. He is a life member of the Society for Conservation Biology, and a member of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group.


  • 2001 – BSc Environmental Science, University of Bucharest, Romania
  • 2007 – MSc Conservation Biology, SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse
  • 2011 – PhD Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine, Orono
  • 2011-15 – Postdoctoral Researcher (U of California Berkeley, U of California Santa Cruz, Simon Fraser University, Canada)


Other Research

Current research in the lab includes:

  • Developing a population model for bobcats (Lynx rufus) in Ohio (funded by Ohio DNR – 2017-2021)
  • Evaluating the impacts of roads on Eastern Box Turtles
  • Implementing monitoring techniques for Eastern Hellbenders in Ohio (funded by Ohio DNR – 2018-2021)
  • Evaluating climate change impacts on vernal pool amphibians (funded by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship – 2017-2021)
  • Developing of monitoring protocols for threatened and endangered species (California Spotted Owls in Sierra Nevada) – collaborations with U California Berkeley and U Wisconsin Madison
  • Large carnivore ecology and sustainable hunting in Eastern Europe – collaborations with diverse stakeholders in Romania
  • Evaluating interspecific interactions between terrestrial carnivores (Ohio and Romania) using camera trapping and diet analysis
  • Developing metagenomic pipelines and statistical framework for rapid biodiversity assessments in the Tropics – collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Harvard U

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