William J. Ripple is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. He is a widely published researcher and a prominent figure in the field of ecology. He is best known for his research on terrestrial trophic cascades, particularly the role of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in North America as an apex predator and a keystone species that shapes food webs and landscape structures via “top-down” pressures. He is the author of more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific articles, most of which deal with trophic cascades.

Ripple heads the Trophic Cascades Program at Oregon State University, which carries out several research initiatives such as the Aspen Project, the Wolves in Nature Project, and the Range Contractions Project. He has a Ph.D. from Oregon State University.

Ripple, along with his frequent coauthor, Robert Beschta, have studied, published, and publicized the positive impact that gray wolves have had on the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem since their reintroduction in 1995 and 1996. These studies were featured in National Geographic Magazine, Discover Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, and Scientific American. Their research was also featured in the William Stolzenburg book, Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators, and the documentary film Lords of Nature: Living in a Land of Great Predators.

William Ripple Home Page
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Berry-producing shrub characteristics following wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park

Effects of bison on willow and cottonwood in northern Yellowstone National Park

Large Predators Limit Herbivore Densities in Northern Forest Ecosystems

The Roles of Large Top Predators in Coastal Ecosystems: New Insights from long Term Ecological Research

Linking Wolves and Plants: Aldo Leopold on Trophic Cascades

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