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Sunil Kumar, PhD.


Research Scientist II Natural Resource Ecology Lab

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-7056   Office: B242 NESB

Email:   Lab:


Fields of Expertise

1.) Aquatic, Wildlife, and Forest Ecology

Areas of Interest

 Invasive Species Landscape ecology Species distribution modeling Tree Fruit Insect Pest Risk analysisWatershed management


Sunil Kumar is a Research Scientist at Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL), and an Affiliate Faculty at the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University. His current research interests include species distribution modeling, pest risk analyses, effects of climate change on species distributions, and effects of habitat heterogeneity on native and invasive species. He uses ecological niche modeling, and geospatial (GIS and remote sensing) and statistical tools to assess the risk of harmful invasive species and quantify threats to agricultural biosecurity. He is also PI on a USDA funded project entitled 'Pest risk analyses for temperate fruit flies in exported fruits'. He is currently advising MS and PhD students and co-taught 'Niche Models' course at CSU. Sunil grew up in northern India (Bijnor district) and earned BS in Mathematics (M.J.P. Rohailkhand University, Bareilly), and MS in Forest Ecology & Management from the Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun (India). He was one of the first 30 Ford Foundation International Fellows (IFP-Fellow) from India (Cohort-1, 2001). He is a GDPE alumnus and received his PhD in Ecology in May 2007 from Colorado State University. Before coming to CSU in August 2002 he worked in India's Central Himalayas for four years (1998-2002) in International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) project where he worked on the modeling and mapping of plant biodiversity. His PhD research was on quantifying the effects of landscape heterogeneity on native and exotic plants and butterfly diversity in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, US.