Krysten Schuler

Krysten Schuler

I am a wildlife disease ecologist interested in the health of wildlife populations and associations with human and domestic animal activities and diseases. Most broadly, I focus on conserving free-ranging species for current and future generations use and enjoyment. This involves a multi-disciplinary approach involving risk analysis, field studies, human dimensions, and laboratory experiments.

Since 2011, I have worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on the cooperative New York State Wildlife Health Program. Prior to relocating to New York, I served as a field epidemiologist with the U.S. Geological Survey – National Wildlife Health Center ( in Madison, Wisconsin investigating wildlife mortality events and training biologists in wildlife health around the country.

My current projects are quite diverse in scope and species. I head up the New York State Interagency Working Group on chronic wasting disease, which has produced surveillance, response and prevention plans in recent years to ensure that all measures are taken to avoid reintroduction of the disease to New York, be able to detect disease at the earliest possible instance, and be ready to react once the disease is found in wild or captive cervids. I have projects looking at moose health in the Adirondacks region, geographical epidemiology of bear mange, white-tailed deer fawn survival, historical accounts of lead in bald eagles, and chytrid fungus in eastern hellbenders.

I also have some collaborations with agencies and universities outside of New York and am willing to consult on interesting projects including diagnostic testing, test development, statistical analysis, and field studies. Some of the themes I’m interested in are exploring the public trust responsibilities of agencies in addressing wildlife health as part of their mandate to protect both present and future resources.

I enjoy educating wildlife professionals and the public about wildlife health and understanding the contributing factors to disease outbreaks. Students (undergraduate, graduate, and DVM) interested in wildlife health are welcome to contact me about mentorship and research opportunities.

In general, I think wildlife health needs to move from an attitude of helplessness or apathy to a precautionary principle (prevent introduction of new pathogens that may represent a risk for wildlife without delaying action until scientific consensus is available) that involves all affected parties and examines a suite of options for risk mitigation.

Select Publications


A novel orthoreovirus associated with epizootic necrotizing enteritis and splenic necrosis in American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos . Maria J. Forzan, Randall W. Renshaw, Elizabeth M. Bunting, Elizabeth Buckles, Joseph Okoniewski, Kevin Hynes, Melissa Laverack, Melissa Fadden, Akbar Dastjerdi, Krysten Schuler, Edward J. Dubovi . Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Infection of eight mesocarnivores in New Hampshire and Vermont with a distinct clade of canine distemper virus in 2016–2017 . David B. Needle, Vivien C. Burnell, Maria J. Forzan, Edward J. Dubovi, Krysten L. Schuler, Chris Bernier, Nicholas A. Hollingshead, Julie C. Ellis, Brian A. Stevens, Patrick Tate, Eman Anis, Rebecca P. Wilkes . Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation


Hunters’ responses to urine‐based scent bans tackling chronic wasting disease . Hwanseok Song, Katherine A. McComas, Krysten L. Schuler . Journal of Wildlife Management
Source effects on psychological reactance to regulatory policies: the role of trust and similarity . Hwanseok Song, Katherine A. McComas, Krysten L. Schuler . Science Communication

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Adult Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles and Lead Toxicity 2017

Tracing a lethal legacy: Lead poisoning in NYS bald eagles

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles Population Impact Study 2018

Uncovering the history of lead toxicity and the population level impact on bald eagles...

White-tailed deer

Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Assessment and Prevention Planning

Reducing the risk of a serious threat to wild white tailed deer....

Eastern Hellbender

Eastern Hellbender Conservation

Improving survival odds of North America's only giant salamander species - the Eastern Hellbender

American Black Bear

Emergence of Black Bear Mange in New York

Understanding the transmission of a newly emerging disease of black bears...

moose bull

Moose Health 2018

We are wrapping up an intensive look at moose health in New York...

Moose in marsh area

Moose Population Health 2017

Battling moose population decline in New York using data

deer fawns

White-tailed Deer Fawn Survival

Working with partners to assess health and survival in newborn fawns...