Michael J. Cramer
I am currently the Assistant Director for UNDERC-East. I spend the field season at the UNDERC facility on the border of northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the remainder of my time on the campus at the University of Notre Dame. A major portion of my summer is spent administering the Practicum in Environmental Field Biology course and running the field station. I also mentor student projects and teach the Vertebrate Ecology module. Finally, I conduct my own research on small mammal ecology and behavior.
Dr. Cramer is the Assistant Director for UNDERC-East.
I hold a position as a Concurrent Associate Professional Specialist in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. I teach several courses in Biology, especially a course on Mammalogy. Taxonomic courses are becoming rarer in universities, and I’m pleased to be able to share my fascination with mammals with undergraduates. I also work with motivated students in my Directed Readings section, where we discuss ideas related to Behavioral Ecology.
I've trained as a field ecologist for my entire career. As an undergraduate at Earlham College, I conducted a study investigating mating and nesting strategies of Red-winged Blackbirds in different habitats. I earned my Master’s degree working with Michael Willig at Texas Tech University studying the effects of different habitat types on rodent diversity in the sand-shinnery oak ecosystem, which is unique to West Texas and Oklahoma. After my work in Texas, I worked as a Research Technician for Stan Gehrt at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation where I trapped and tracked raccoons and skunks along an urban-suburban gradient in the Chicago area. From there, I attended the University of Cincinnati, where I earned my doctorate degree under the tutelage of Guy Cameron. My dissertation investigated the effects of bot fly parasitism on the population ecology and mating behavior of white-footed mice.