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Dr. Isaac M. (Morty) Ortega
Associate Professor
Department of Natural Resources & the Environment

University of Connecticut U-87,
1376 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4087

Room #222
Phone: (860) 486-0161/2840
Fax: (860) 486-5408

Patagonia Expedition


Ph.D. 1991 Wildlife Sciences Texas Tech University
M.S. 1985 Wildlife Management Iowa State University
B.S. 1976 Ecology Universidad Austral de Chile

Courses Taught

NRE 1000 Environmental Science
NRE 2345 Intro. to Fisheries & Wildlife (co-taught)
NRE 3335 Wildlife Management
NRE 3305 African Field Ecology

Work Experience

2006 - Present Associate Professor, UConn
1997 - 2006 Assistant Professor, UConn
1992 - 1996 Post-doctoral Research Associate, Texas Tech University

Research Interest

My general area of research is foraging ecology. I am interested on the predator-prey relationship processes not only at the animal-animal level, but also at the animal-plant level. My concerns at the local and regional levels are related to wild carnivores (coyotes and raccoons) ecology and their behavior around people (yes, we are in the northeast and there are plenty of humans around here). At the international level I am interested on the general ecology in Patagonia. For now my research is concentrated at Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, where I conduct research on huemules (an endangered deer), guanacos (a llama relative), their food, and their predator (mountain lions).

Selected Pubs

  • Williams S. C., A.J.DeNicola and I.M. Ortega. 2008 Behavioral responses of white-tailed deer subjected to lethal management. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86:1358-1366.
  • Ortega, I.M., S. Soltero-Gardea, F.C. Bryant, and D.L. Drawe. 1997. Evaluating grazing strategies for cattle: Deer forage dynamics. J. Range Manage. 50: 615-621
  • Ortega, I.M., S. Soltero-Gardea, D.L. Drawe, and F.C. Bryant. 1997. Evaluating grazing strategies for cattle: Deer and cattle food partitioning. J. Range Manage. 50:622-630
  • Ortega, I.M., S. Soltero-Gardea, F.C. Bryant, and D.L. Drawe. 1997. Evaluating grazing strategies for cattle: Nutrition of cattle and deer. J. Range Manage. 50:631-637
  • Ortega, I.M. and W. L. Franklin. 1995. Social organization, distribution and movements of a migratory guanaco population in the Chilean Patagonia. "Revista de Historia Natural, Chile". 68: 489-500
  • Ortega, I.M., F.C. Bryant, and D. L. Drawe. 1995. Contrast of esophageal-fistula versus bite-count techniques to determine cattle diets. J. Range Management. 48: 498-502
  • Relyea, R. A, I.M. Ortega, and S. Demarais. 1994. Activity monitoring in mule deer: assessing telemetry accuracy. Wildlife Bulletin. 22: 656-661
  • Soltero-Gardea, S., Ortega, I.M. and F. C. Bryant. 1994. Nutrient content of important deer forage plants in the Texas Coastal Bend. Texas J. Sci. 46:133-142
  • Ortega, I.M. 1991. Deer and cattle foraging strategies under different grazing systems and stocking rates. Ph.D. Diss. Texas Tech Univ. Lubbock, TX. 152 pp
  • Ortega, I.M. 1991. Taming captive-born and wild-born white-tailed deer fawns. Texas J. Sci. 43:215-217
  • Ortega, I.M., L.D. Perry, D.L. Drawe, and F.C. Bryant. 1990. Observations on obtaining white-tailed deer fawns for experimental purposes. Texas J. Sci. 42: 69-72
  • Ortega, I.M. and W.L. Franklin. 1988. Feeding habitat utilization and preference by guanaco male groups in the Chilean Patagonia. Rev. Chi. Hist. Nat. 61: 209-216
  • Ortega, I.M. 1985. Social organization and ecology of a migratory guanaco population in southern Patagonia. M.S.Thesis. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. 59 pp.
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4087
Phone: 860-486-2840