Michael J. Cramer Concurrent Assistant Professional Specialist

Small Mammal Ecology and Behavior
Michael J. Cramer

Research Interests:

My research is based in the ecology and behavior of small mammals, especially deer mice (genus Peromyscus), and I am keenly interested in the differences between the white-footed deer mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and the woodland deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis). My master’s work in Texas addressed the impact of habitat heterogeneity on a semi-arid small mammal community, and my dissertation work investigated the effects of a common parasite (bot fly) on the reproductive behavior of white-footed deer mice. Currently, I study the foraging ecology of seed predators, especially deer mice and chipmunks. I am also interested in how mice, which are common prey for a variety of predators, alter their foraging behavior in the presence of predators. Finally, I am interested in parasite-host relationships, especially those between small mammals and ectoparasites, such as ticks, which are vectors for a variety of diseases.



  • Assistant Director, UNDERC-East 2007-Present
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati 2005-2006
  • Ph.D., University of Cincinnati 2006
  • M.S, Texas Tech University 1998
  • B.A., Earlham College 1994


Recent Papers:

  • Ridenhour, B., and M. J. Cramer. 2015. A new technique to differentiate Peromyscus species in the field. Conservation Genetics Resources, 7:29—31.
  • Cramer. M. J. 2014. Seeds of doubt: feeding preferences of white-footed deer mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis) and woodland deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatis gracilis) on maple (Genus Acer) seeds. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92: 771—776.
  • Osburn, D. J., and M. J. Cramer. 2013. Foraging response of Erethizon dorsatum and Lepus americanus to specialized and generalized predator scents. The American Midland Naturalist, 169: 66—73.
  • Cramer, M. J., and G. N. Cameron. 2010. Effects of bot fly parasitism on movements of Peromyscus leucopus. The American Midland Naturalist, 163:455—462.
  • Hopton, M. E., G. N. Cameron, M. J. Cramer, M. Polak, and G. W. Uetz. 2009. Live animal radiography to measure developmental instability in populations of small mammals after a natural disaster. Ecological Indicators, 9:883—891.
  • Cramer, M. J., and G. N. Cameron. 2007. Effects of bot fly (Cuterebra fontinella) parasitism on male aggression and female choice in Peromyscus leucopus. Animal Behaviour, 74:1419—1427.
  • Cramer, M. J., and M. R. Willig. 2005. Habitat heterogeneity, species diversity and null models. Oikos, 108:209—218.