Associate Professor

A 232 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: 608/263-8979

Email: rslute[at]wisc[dot]edu



Avian ecology, habitat use.


Degree Institution Major Field
BS Texas A&M University Wildlife & Fisheries Science.
MS Texas A&M University Wildlife Science
Investigated the impacts of oil development on the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken.
PhD Oregon State University Wildlife Ecology
Investigated habitat use of Merriam's wild turkey on Mt. Hood National Forest

I taught at Iowa State University and taught and developed my graduate student research program at Texas Tech University before coming to UW-Madison in 1995.


I teach Wildlife Investigational Techniques, Population Dynamics, and a Ways of Knowing class. I'm also a Faculty Fellow at Chadbourne Residential College.

My graduate students and I investigate a number of natural resource issues. Generally, our research searches for links between habitat use and population demography. We work on a wide variety of avian species that include gamebirds, forest songbirds, and threatened shorebirds.

Professional Affiliations

Member: The Wildlife Society; American Ornithologists' Union; Ecological Society of America. Editor-The Wildlife Society; Member: The Wildlife Society, Working Group on College & University Education (1994); Graduate faculty at Iowa State University (1988-89), Texas Tech University (1989-1995).


Reetz, M, R. S. Lutz, S. Hull, S. Fandell. 2012. A GIS-based Approach to Understanding Wisconsin’s Sharp-tailed Grouse at Larger Scales. Western Great Lakes Resource Conference.. Ashland, WI

Bruggink, J., E. Oppelt, K. Doherty, D. Andersen, J. Meunier, S. Lutz. 2012 . Fall survival of American woodcock in the western Great Lakes Region. Accepted at Journal of Wildlife Management, Feb 2012

Reetz, M., and S. Lutz. 2011. Sharp-tailed Grouse from the Shadows? What Wisconsin's Grouse Are Telling Us About Conserving an Important Ecological Landscape. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, IA

Chipault, M., S. Lutz, J. Pitman, B. Houck. 2011. Landscape factors and movement patterns affecting spring survival of adult male Rio Grande wild turkeys in Kansas. 10th National Wild Turkey Symposium, Virginia.

Doherty, K., D. Andersen, J. Meunier, E. Oppelt, S. Lutz, and J. Bruggink. 2011. Foraging location quality as a predictor of habitat selection; autumn movement behavior of American Woodcock. Wildlife Biology

Rachel Vallender, Steven L. VanWilgenburg, Lesley P. Bulluck, Amber M. Roth, Ronald A. Canterbury6, Jeffery Larkin, Monica Fowlds, and Irby J. Lovette. 2009. Extensive rangewide mitochondrial introgression indicates substantial cryptic hybridization in the Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera). Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Meunier, J., R. Song , R. Lutz , D. Andersen , K. Doherty , J. Bruggink , and E. Oppelt 2008. Proximate cues for a short-distance migratory species: A new application of survival analysis. Journal of Wildlife Management. 72(2):440-448

Meunier, J., .S. Lutz, K.E. Doherty, D.E. Andersen, E. Oppelt, and J.G. Bruggink 2008. Fall diurnal habitat use by adult female American woodcock in the western Great Lakes region. Proceedings of the 10th American Woodcock Symposium.

Oppelt, E., J.G. Bruggink, K.E. Doherty, D.E. Andersen, J. Meunier, and R.S. Lutz. 2008. Fall survival of American woodcock in the western Great Lakes region. Proceedings of the 10th American Woodcock Symposium.

Martin, K, S. Lutz, and M. Worland. 2007. Relationship between golden-winged warblers and vegetation at two spatial scales in northern Wisconsin. Wilson Bulletin 119:523-532.

Eileen Oppelt, John G. Bruggink, Kevin Doherty, David E. Andersen, Jed Meunier, and R. Scott Lutz. 2005 Fall survival of American woodcock in the western Great Lakes Region. 66th Midwest Fish &Wildlife Conference, Grand Rapids, December 2005

Roth, A., and R. S. Lutz. 2004. Relationships between territorial male golden-winged warblers in managed aspen stands in northern Wisconsin. Forest Science 50:153-161.

Williams, C. K., R. S. Lutz, and R. D. Applegate. 2004. Winter survival and additive harvest in northern bobwhite coveys in Kansas. J. Wildlife Management. 68:94-100.

Hansen, L. A., N. E. Mathews, B. A. VanderLee, and R. S. Lutz. 2004. Population characteristics, survival rates, and causes of mortality of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) on the southern high plains, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 49:54-60.

Williams, Christopher K., R.S. Lutz, and R. D. Applegate. 2003. Optimal group size in northern bobwhite coveys. Animal Behaviour. 66:377-387

Hansen, L. A., N. E. Mathews, R. W. Hansen, B. VanderLee, and R. S. Lutz. 2003. Genetic Structure in Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) on the Southern High Plains. Western North American Naturalist. 63:80-87

Knetter, J. M., R. S. Lutz., R. K. M.urphy, and J. R. Cary. 2002. A multi-scale investigation of piping plover productivity on Great Plains alkali lakes, 1994-2000. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 30:683-694.

Allen, C. A., R. S. Lutz, T. Lockley, R. Phillips, and S. Demarais. 2001. Impact of the non-indigenous ant, Solenopsis invicta, on Loggerhead shrike and native insect abundance. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology (In Press).

Hansen, L. A., N. E. Mathews, R. W. Hansen, B. VanderLee, and R. S. Lutz. 2001. Genetic Structure in Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) on the Southern High Plains. Western North American Naturalist.

Knetter, J. M., R. K. Murphy, and R. S. Lutz. 2001. Initial movements of juvenile piping plovers, Charadrius melodus, from natal sites in northwestern North Dakota. Canadian Field Naturalist 115:352-353.

Wojcik, D. P., C.R.Allen, R.J.Brenner, D.A. Focks, E.A.Forys, D.P.Jouvenaz, R.S.Lutz, S.D.Porter, R.K.VanderMeer, and D.F.Williams. 2001. Red imported fire ants: Impact on biodiversity and updated management techniques. American Entomologist. 47:16-23.

Hennen, R., and R. S. Lutz. 2000. Rio Grande turkey hen survival in southcentral Kansas. 8th National Turkey Symposium, Augusta, Georgia (In Press).

VanderLee, B., and R.S. Lutz. 2000. Dose-tissue relationships for dieldrin in nestling black-billed magpies. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 65: 427-434.

Williams, C. K., R. S. Lutz, R. D. Applegate, and D. H. Rusch. 2000. Habitat use and survival of northern bobwhite in Kansas cropland and rangeland ecosystems during the harvest season. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 78:1562-1566.

_____, W. R. Davidson, R. S. Lutz, and R. D. Applegate. 2000. Diseases and parasites of an eastern Kansas northern bobwhite population. Journal of Avian Diseases 44: 953-956.

_____, R. D. Applegate, R. S. Lutz, and D. H. Rusch. 2000. A comparison of raptor densities and habitat use in Kansas cropland and rangeland ecosystems. Journal of Raptor Research 34:203-209.

VanderLee, B. A., R. S. Lutz, L. A. Hansen, and N. E. Mathews. 1999. Effects of supplemental prey, vegetation, and time on success of artificial nests. Journal Wildlife Management 63:1299-1305.

Frank, R. A., and R. S. Lutz. 1999. Productivity and survival of Great Horned Owls exposed to dieldrin. The Condor 101:331-339.

R. S. Lutz,, and D. L. Plumpton. 1999. Philopatry and nest site reuse by burrowing owls: implications for management. Journal of Raptor Research 33:149-153.

Giuliano, W. M., R. Patiño, and R. S. Lutz. 1998. Comparative reproductive and physiological responses of northern bobwhite and scaled quail to water deprivation. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology 119A:781-786.

Description of Recent Research Projects

Upland gamebird ecology and management

Professor Lutz and his students have worked to understand the relationships between population ecology and habitat use in several species of galliformes. Their work with bobwhite and scaled quail focused on the influence of water, energy, and protein stress on reproductive performance of these species. He and his students also explored the impact of an exotic insect, the red imported fire ant, on populations of bobwhite. In this work, they combined laboratory experiments with large-scale field experiments. Professor Lutz and his students have worked with wild turkeys in Texas and Kansas to better understand habitat use, hen survival, and population genetics.


Professor Lutz and his students are investigating the relationships between dieldrin residue levels and the ecology of black-billed magpies and great-horned owls. They are evaluating the use of these species as biomonitors of environmental contamination.

Population ecology

Professor Lutz and several students have worked with a small population of burrowing owls in Colorado. They intensively trapped and color-banded birds to explore habitat use, foraging ecology, and the relationships between site fidelity and reproductive parameters.

Graduate Students in Progress

Matt Lechmaier M.S. (Scott Lutz)

"Wild turkey survival and abundance in west-central Wisconsin"

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