Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jonathan Conard has published an article in this month's issue of BioOne Online Journals. Titled "Foraging Ecology of Elk (Cervus elaphus) in a Tallgrass Prairie," the Sterling College faculty member’s article is a breakthrough piece in understanding the diet of elk in Kansas.
"We found out what species of plants [the elk] ate," said Conard. "They focused on trees and shrubs but not as many grasses. This research gave us more insight into their diet in a different setting. While there is a good amount of knowledge in the Rocky Mountains, elk in Kansas have undergone much less study."
A free-ranging herd of elk outside of Fort Riley, Kan., - the only free-ranging herd in the state - was the subject of Conard's study. The data collection phase was two years long, and analysis of the data, as well as writing out the results was a year long process. Conard's doctoral dissertation sparked his interest i