You are here

Knut Kielland

Moose in a clearing
Knut Kielland
Research Interests: 

The research in my lab focuses on northern ecology including biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling, physiological plant ecology, soil-plant-animal interactions, and predator-prey ecology. We engage in experimental field investigations, modeling studies of plant and animal populations, as well as interdisciplinary socio-ecological research. Since 1991 I have been an investigator with the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (BNZ-LTER) program focusing on the ecological processes in boreal forest ecosystems in the context of climate change. I have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research as indicated by previous projects addressing issues such as the ecology and economics of caribou-reindeer interactions (NSF 1999-2005) and the effects of river ice dynamics on subsistence activities in rural Alaska (NSF 2009-2013). I also maintain collaborations with state and federal resource agencies on projects related to the ecology and management of wildlife in Alaska.

 Current projects with my colleagues and graduate students include:

  • Interactions of succession and herbivory by insects and mammals in boreal forests
  • Habitat use and migratory behavior of caribou
  • Winter ecology of wolverines
  • Reproductive biology and diet of great horned owls
  • Nutritional ecology of snowshoe hares
  • Vegetation - herbivore interactions in relation to climate change in the Arctic
  • Population dynamics of snowshoe hares
  • Movement ecology of lynx


Knut Kielland
Knut Kielland
Professor of Ecology
406 Irving 1
408/409 Irving 1
Postal Address: 
Institute of Arctic BiologyPO Box 757000University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
  • 1990: Ph.D. (Ecology), University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 1982: B.S. Anthropology, B.S. Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 2016 - present: Professor, Dept. of Biology & Wildlife, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 2008 - 2016:  Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology & Wildlife, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 2001 - 2008:  Associate Research Professor, IAB, UAF
  • 1999 - 2001:  Affiliate Associate Professor, Dept of Biology and Wildlife, UAF
  • 1990 -1999:  Research Associate, IAB, UAF 



Chapin, F.S., Moilanen, L. & Kielland, K., 1993. Preferential use of organic nitrogen for growth by a non-mycorrhizal arctic sedge. Nature, 361, pp.150–153.


Kielland, K. & Chapin, F.S., 1992. Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. In R. L. Jeffries et al. New York: Academic Press, pp. 321–335.


Kielland, K., 1990. Processes controlling nitrogen release and turnover in arctic tundra. University of Alaska Fairbanks.



  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Ecological Society of America
  • The Wildlife Society
  • Tanana Dogmushers Association
  • Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association
  • PI  - Movement patterns of lynx in relation to snowshoe hare abundance, Northwest Boreal LCC, 2017 - 2018, $60,000
  • PI  - Dietary analysis of martens in interior Alaska based on stable isotopes signatures, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2015-2016, $11,235.
  • PI – Ecology of lynx near their northern range limit, USGS, 10/14 – 10/15, $22,876
  • PI – Dietary analysis of furbearers in interior Alaska based on stable isotope analysis, ADF&G, 12/13 – 12/14, $10,000
  • PI - Interactions of Fire and Thermokarst Affecting Ecological Change In Alaska, USGS, 6/11-5/16, $379,470
  • PI -  Integrating Remote Sensing and Local Knowledge to Monitor Seasonal River Ice Dynamics, National Institutes for Water Resources,3/11 – 3/12,$22,290
  • PI - Nutritional Ecology of snowshoe hares, National Park Service, 9/10 – 9/14, $11,179
  • PI – Dangerous Ice: Human perspectives on changing winter conditions in interior Alaska,NSF Social Sciences ARO, 08/09 – 07/12, $359,264
  • PI – Primary Succession on Yukon River Floodplains, USDA Forest Service, 07/01/07-06/30/12, $75,000
  • PI – Feedbacks between river hydrology and terrestrial nitrogen dynamics in taiga forests,The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 6/02-9/05, $296,291
  • PI - Reindeer herding in transition: feedback between climate, caribou and local communities in Northwestern Alaska, NSF, 11/99-6/05, $1,257,636
  • PI – Arctic hunters as reindeer herders, NSF, supplement to Reindeer herding in transition, 10/01-6/04, $23,119
  • PI – Controls over white spruce establishments in floodplain plant communities, US Forest Service, 10/01-10/06, $55,000
  • PI - Effects of moose on dynamics of floodplain communities, US Forest Service, 9/99-8/04, $56,533
  • PI - The role of organic nitrogen in the nitrogen economy of taiga trees, USDA-NRI Ecosystems 6/99-5/02, $467,500
  • Co-PI – Mutualistic partner choice in alder across a forest successional sequence in interior Alaska (Ruess PI), NSF 06/-1/07 – 05/31/10), $796,227
  • Co-PI – Lake Clark moose habitat/calf survival study (Griffith – PI), National Park Service, 7/03 – 8/08, $405,999
  • Co-PI - Moose herbivory and browse quality along latitudinal gradients in Alaska and Scandinavia, (Edenius – PI), STINT, 7/00-12/03, $15,000
  • Co-PI - Bathurst calving ground studies, West Kitikmeot Slave Study Society (Griffith PI) 1998-2001, $297,764
  • Co-PI - Landscape patterns of  heavy metal concentrations in reindeer and caribou in Northwestern Alaska, Natural Resources Fund, 3/99-3/00, $18,350
  • Biology 104X Natural History of Alaska
  • Biology 371 Principles of Ecology
  • Biology 493 Winter Ecology
Current Graduate Students (More info)
  • Derek Arnold
  • Matthew Cameron
  • Martha Cummings
  • Thomas Glass
  • Matthew Kynoch
  • Akashia Martinez
  • Sarah Swanson
Past Graduate Students
  • Madison McConnell 2019 (M.S.) Dietary controls over reproductive ecology of great horned owls
  • Justin Olnes 2018 (Ph.D.) Demographic effects of snowshoe hare herbivory on white spruce
  • Dana Nossov Brown 2016 (Ph.D.) Climate-induced changes to fire-permafrost interactions in the Alaskan boreal forest
  • Aditi Shenoy 2016 (Ph.D.) Role of fire severity in controlling patterns of stand dominance following wildfire in boreal forests
  • Casey Brown 2016 (Ph.D.) Socio-ecological drivers of resource selection and habitat use of moose in Interior Alaska
  • Chas Jones 2014 (Ph.D.) Controls over ice dynamics of the Tanana river
  • Suzanne Worker 2013 (M.S.) Causes and consequences of geophagy in snowshoe hares
  • Dashiell Feierabend 2013 (M.S.) Controls over survival and activity pattern in snowshoe hares
  • Cameron Carroll 2013 (M.S.) Modeling effects of winter severity and fire on moose populations
  • Neil Lehner 2012 (M.S.) Winter movements and diets of arctic foxes on Alaska's North Slope
  • Greg Finstad 2008 (Ph.D) Range ecology of reindeer on the Seward Peninsula
  • Rachel Lord 2008 (M.S.) Variable fire severity in Alaska's boreal forst: implications for forage production and moose utilization patterns
  • Amy Angell 2007 (M.S.) Interactions of moose herbivory and white spruce regeneration on the Tanana River floodplain
  • Andrew Borner 2006 (M.S.) Plant phenology and seasonal nitrogen availability in arctic snowbed communities
  • Nancy Werdin 2006 (M.S.) Soil amino acid composition across a boreal forest successional sequence
  • Kumi Rattenbury 2006 (M.S.) Interactions of climate and caribou incursion on management of reindeer in Western Alaska
  • Merben Cebrian 2005 (M.S) Effects of simulated climate change on phenology and chemistry of reindeer forage plants in western Alaska
  • Nicholas Lisuzzo 2005 (M.S.) Physical controls over nitrogen supply in early successional riparian ecosystems along the Tanana River, Alaska
  • Lem Butler 2003 (M.S.) The role of mammalian herbivores in primary succession on the Tanana River floodplain, interior Alaska
In the News

Professional Service:

Editorial Board: Ecology (Scientific Natural History section)

Editorial Board:ISRN Forestry

Faculty1000: F1000Prime Faculty member 

External Reviewer of proposals:

National agencies

  • NSF (Arctic Systems Science, Ecosystem Studies, Ecology, Polar Programs, CAREER, SGER, BCS - Geography & Spatial Sciences, Long Term Research in Environmental Biology)
    • US Civilian Research and Development Foundation
    • National Geographic Society
    • USDA – NRI, CSREES, Small Business Innovation Research
      • DOE -Northeastern Regional Center of the National Institutes for Climatic Change Research (NICCR)
    • Yale University Press (book proposals)


International agencies

  • National Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom
  • Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agriculture, and Spatial Planning
    • Center for Environmental Research, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
    • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    • Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters - Center for Advanced Study
    • Research Council of Norway
      • National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
      • Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada – (External Reviewer for Promotion & Tenure)
      • NWO - De Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Dutch National Science Foundation)
      • Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Austrian National Science Foundation)
      • MITACS Canada (Canadian government & industry support for graduate student training)

Peer Reviewer

  • Acta Theriologica
  • Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment
  • American Midland Naturalist
  • American Naturalist
  • Arctic, Arctic Antarctic &  Alpine Research
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Biogeosciences
  • Canadian Journal of Botany
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research
  • Canadian Journal of Zoology
  • Ecography
  • Ecological Applications
  • Ecology
  • Ecology Letters
  • Écoscience
  • Ecosystems
  • Environmental & Experimental Botany
  • Forest Ecology & Management
  • Functional Ecology
  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Global Change Biology
  • International Journal of Plant & Soil Science
  • ISRN Forestry
  • Journal of Animal Ecology
  • Journal of Ecology
  • Journal of Environmental Quality
  • Journal of Vegetation Science
  • Journal of Wildlife Management
  • Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Letters in Applied Microbiology
  • Mathematatical Biosciences
  • Nature
  • New Phytologist
  • Oecologia
  • Oikos,
  • Pedosphere
  • Physiologia Plantarum
  • Plant and Soil
  • Plant Ecology & Diversity
  • Polar Biology
  • Polar Science
  • Quarterly Review of Biology
  • Soil Biology & Biochemistry
  • Soil Science Society of America Journal
  • Tree Physiology
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Wildlife Society Bulletin