William E. Jensen
Bill Jensen's photo


Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Department of Biological Sciences, Emporia State University 

Director, ESU Natural Areas, Schmidt Museum of Natural History

Department of Biological Sciences

Campus Box 4050

Emporia State University

1200 Commercial St.

Emporia, KS  66801


wjensen1 AT emporia.edu

Ph.D., Biology, Kansas State University (2003)
M.S., Biological Sciences, Emporia State University (1999)
B.S., Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Missouri-Columbia (1996)

Curriculum Vitae

My research foci are in the areas of population and behavioral ecology, with taxonomic emphases toward birds and mammals of conservation concern.  Much of my past and current research explores consequences of habitat alterations to bird populations and communities.  I advise Master's-level graduate students within these research areas at ESU.  If you are interested in graduate research related to my interests, please contact me

I teach courses in Ornithology, Mammalogy, Field Ecology, Wildlife Populations and Conservation, and Natural Resource Policies at ESU.  My Ornithology and Mammalogy courses emphasize field identification and natural history of birds and mammals.  Where possible, I incorporate student projects with extracurricular research and wildlife management activities.  I am also serving as Faculty Advisor for the ESU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society and as ESU's technical representative in the Great Plains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit


Peer, B. D., R. A. McCleery, and W. E. Jensen.  2018.  Resistance is futile: prohibitive costs of egg ejection in an obligate avian brood parasite host.  Animal Behaviour 144:45-51.

Wilson, E. D., W. E. Jensen, and R. Schultheis.  2018.  Habitat use by secretive marsh birds during spring and fall migration in moist-soil wetlands in Kansas.  Wilson Journal of Ornithology 130:385-396.

Para, M., A. C. Dalisio, W. E. Jensen, and T. H. Parker.  2017.  Male territorial aggression does not drive conformity to local vocal culture in a passerine bird.  Ethology 123:800-810.

Holoubek, N.S. and W. E. Jensen.  2016.  Avian nest success along a habitat gradient in the Cross Timbers oak savanna.  American Midland Naturalist 176:234-246.

Jensen, W. E., M. K. Schulmeister, and B. A. Koerner.  2016.  Emporia State University’s Natural Areas: A general overview of the areas and research pertaining to hydrogeology and climate change.  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 119:21-26.

Holoubek, N.S. and W. E. Jensen.  2015.  Avian occupancy varies with habitat structure in oak savanna of the south-central United States.  Journal of Wildlife Management 79:458-468.

Dalisio, A. C., W. E. Jensen, and T. H. Parker.  2015.  Divergence of vocal culture among isolated alpine habitats is inconsistent among three Oscine species.  Journal of Ornithology 156:165-178.

Long, A. M., W. E. Jensen, and R. S. Matlack.  2014.  Influence of prescribed burning on bird abundance and species assemblage in a semiarid Great Plains grassland.  Western North American Naturalist 74:396-404. 

Jaster, L., W. E. Jensen, and A. R. Forbes.  2014.  Nest survival of grassland birds in warm-and cool-season grassland restorations.  American Midland Naturalist 171:246-257.

Miller, J. C. and W. E. Jensen.  2013.  Roost-site characteristics of the pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus) in the Red Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma.  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 116:1-10.

Jaster, L., W. E. Jensen, and A. R. Forbes.  2013.  Abundance, territory sizes, and pairing success of male Henslow’s Sparrows in restored warm- and cool-season grasslands.  Journal of Field Ornithology  84:234-241.

Tsakiris, E. T., M. D. Jacobson, A. M. Long, and W. E. Jensen.  2013.  Abundance and diversity of arthropods in lark sparrow nests.  Southwestern Naturalist 58:113-117. 

Prendergast, J. A. and W. E. Jensen.  2012.  Relation between reproduction and fat reserves in female muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus).  Mammalia 76:219–221. 

Long, A. M., W. E. Jensen, and R. S. Matlack.  2012.  Effects of prescribed burning on avian nest survival in the southern Great Plains.  Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 899-906.  

Prendergast, J. A. and W. E. Jensen.  2012.  Consequences of parasitic mite infestation on muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)Western North American Naturalist 71:516-522.

Jacobson, M. D., E. T. Tsakiris, A. M. Long, and W. E. Jensen. 2011. No evidence for observer effects on Lark Sparrow nest survival. Journal of Field Ornithology 82:184-192. 

Prendergast, J. A., W. E. Jensen, and S. D. Roth.  2010.  Trends in abundance of hibernating bats in a karst region of the southern Great Plains.  Southwestern Naturalist 55:331-339.

Rivers, J.W., W. E. Jensen, K. L. Kosciuch, and S. I. Rothstein.  2010.  Community-level patterns of host use by the brown-headed cowbird, a generalist brood parasite.  Auk 127:263-273.

Aber, J. S., S. W. Aber, L. Buster, W.E. Jensen, and R. O. Sleezer.  2009.  Challenge of infrared kite aerial photography: A digital update.  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 112:31-39.  

Long, A. M., W. E. Jensen, and K. A. With.  2009.  Orientation of grasshopper sparrow and eastern meadowlark nests in relation to wind direction.  Condor 111:395-399.  

Rahmig, C. R., W. E. Jensen, and K. A. With.  2009.  Grassland bird responses to land management in the largest remaining tallgrass prairie.  Conservation Biology 23:420-432.      

Schook, D. M., M. D. Collins, W. E. Jensen, P. J. Williams, N. E. Bader, and T. H. Parker.  2008.  Geographic patterns of song similarity in the dickcissel, Spiza americana.  Auk 125:953-964.

With, K. A., A. W. King, and W. E. Jensen.  2008Remaining large grasslands may not be sufficient to prevent grassland bird declines.  Biological Conservation 141:3152 –3167.  

Frey, C. M., W. E. Jensen, and K. A. With.  2008.  Topographic patterns of nest placement and habitat quality for grassland birds in the Flint HillsAmerican Midland Naturalist 160:220-234.  

Sandercock, B. K., W. E. Jensen, C. K. Williams, and R. D. Applegate.  2008.  Demographic sensitivity of population change in northern bobwhite.  Journal of Wildlife Management 72:970-982.  

Jensen, W. E. and J. F. Cully, Jr.  2005aDensity-dependent habitat selection by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) in tallgrass prairie.  Oecologia 142:136-149.  

Jensen, W. E. and J. F. Cully, Jr.  2005bGeographic variation in Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism on Dickcissels (Spiza americana) in Great Plains tallgrass prairie.  Auk 122:648-660. 

Chace, J. S., C. Farmer, R. Winfree, D. Curson, W. E. Jensen, C. Goguen, and S. K. Robinson.  2005.  Cowbird (Molothrus spp.) Ecology: a review of factors affecting the distribution and abundance of cowbirds across spatial scales.  Ornithological Monographs 57:45-70. 

Jensen, W. E. and E. J. Finck.  2004.  Variation in edge effects on nesting Dickcissels (Spiza americana) in relation to edge type of remnant tallgrass prairie in Kansas. American Midland Naturalist 151:192-199.  

Herkert, J. R., D. L. Reinking, D. A. Wiedenfeld, M. Winter, J. L. Zimmerman, W. E. Jensen, E. J. Finck, R. R. Koford, D. H. Wolfe, S. K. Sherrod, M. A. Jenkins, J. Faaborg, and S. K. Robinson.  2003.  Effects of prairie fragmentation on the nest success of breeding birds in the midcontinental United States. Conservation Biology 17:587-594. 

Jensen, W. E., D. A. Robinson, Jr., and R. D. Applegate.  2000.  Distribution and population trend of Lesser Prairie-chickens in Kansas.  Prairie Naturalist 32:169-175.

Robinson, D. A., Jr., W. E. Jensen, and R. A. Applegate.  2000.  Observer effect on a rural mail carrier survey population index. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:330-332. 

Current graduate students:

Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson
received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  Ben is investigating responses of grassland bird abundance and community structure to management of CRP grasslands.

Heather Kraus
Heather Kraus
received her B.A. in General Biology from Washington and Jefferson College.  Heather is investigating reproductive responses of grassland birds to management of CRP grasslands.


Lab alumni:

Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University.  He investigated habitat associations of marsh birds in moist-soil wetlands in Kansas.

Anthony Dalisio received his B.A. in Circumpolar Studies from Sterling College.  He studied song divergence among bird populations in high-elevation life zones for his M.S. thesis.

Nathan Holoubek received his B.S. 
in Wildlife Ecology, Management, and Research (minor in Conservation Biology) from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

Nathan led a research effort on avian responses to restoration of Cross Timbers savanna for his M.S. thesis.

Levi Jaster received his B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from Northwest Missouri State University.  For his M.S. thesis, Levi investigated demographic patterns of Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) in restored grasslands of western Missouri.

Ashley Long received her B.S. in Biology from Northland College.  Ashley studied avian responses to prescribed burning in the southwestern Great Plains for her M.S. thesis here at ESU (degree received spring 2010).  We collaborated with Dr. Raymond Matlack at West Texas A&M University for this project.

Jeff Miller received his B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Dubuque.  Jeff investigated habitat use by bats in the Red Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma for his thesis.

Jeff Prendergast received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Emporia State University.  Jeff investigated the effect of mink (Mustela vison) presence on muskrat  (Ondatra zibethicus) foraging behavior and reproduction.