Michael J. Cramer Concurrent Associate Professor of the Practice

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 current work focuses on how climate change may affect wild populations of these species and their interactions. 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
  • Associate Professor of the Practice, 2017-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:

  • Cramer, M. J. 2019. Of mice and maples. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17:322. DOI: 10.1002/fee.2081
  • Flagel, D. G., G. E. Belovsky, M. J. Cramer, D. E. Beyer Jr., and K. E. Robertson. Fear and loathing in a Great Lakes forest: cascading effects of wolf vs. coyote competition. Journal of Mammalogy.98:77-84.
  • Cramer, M. J. 2016. Considerations for use of vertebrates in field studies. Pages 199-223 in Suckow, M. and K. L. Stewart (eds.), Principles of Animal Research for Graduate and Undergraduate Students. Elsevier Academic Publishing.
  • 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.