US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Dede Olson, PNW Research Ecologist

Deanna ("Dede") H. Olson

Research Ecologist, Team Leader
3200 SW Jefferson Way
3200 SW Jefferson Way
United States

Phone: 541-750-7373
Contact Deanna ("Dede") H. Olson

Current Research

My research focuses on three themes: the ecology of amphibians and fishes in headwater stream basins in managed forests; the taxonomic and distribution patterns of the amphibian chytrid fungus; and the conservation biology of amphibians, reptiles, and turtles.

Research Interests

Conservation biology, behavioral ecology, population and community ecology. Effects of forest management practices, landscape designs, and policies on aquatic-dependent organisms. Interaction of climate variation with species' ecology and land management practices. Development of new research paradigms engaging multiple partners.

Past Research

My past studies have explored the reproductive behavioral ecology of frogs and toads.

Why This Research is Important

Over one-third of amphibians and almost 50 percent of turtles are threatened with extinction worldwide, yet we know very little about their general ecology and the main threats that are affecting them. Both taxonomic groups are considered ideal indicators of environmental degradation owing to their reliance on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats and their central position in food webs. Ecological and conservation biology research can aid management decisions regarding these iconic faunal groups, preserving them for generations to come.


  • Oregon State University, Department of Zoology, Ph.D. Breeding ecology of amphibians in the Cascade Range of Oregon 1988
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A. Major: Biology; Concentration Area: Population Ecology; Minor: Philosophy 1980

Professional Experience

  • PNW representative, Intermediate Management Group
    2012 - Current
    Survey and Manage Program advisory group, Northwest Forest Plan
  • Lead, Aquatic Biodivesity in Forests, Division8.02.06, International Union for Forest Research Organizations
    2010 - Current
    Organized sessions in Seoul at the IUFRO World Congress, and Cork at the Biodiversity subdivision conference.
  • Associate Editor, Herpetological Review, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
    2000 - Current
    In 2008, I initiated the Amphibian Diseases section of the journal.
  • Courtesy Faculty, Oregon State University
    1990 - Current
    I have held positions in the Departments of Zoology, Fisheries and Wildlife, Forest Science, Forest Ecosystems and Society, and the Environmental Science Program, and the program for BioResource Research. Primarily, I co-advise graduate students and mentor undergraduate students who are collaborating with me on research projects.
  • National Co-chair, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
    2009 - 2012
    I wrote the 10-years of PARC report, 2011-State of the Turtle report, and 2012-State of the Lizard report. I helped initiate PARC's annual report process (2 new brochures: 2010 and 2011), two new annual awards (Alison Haskell Award, Visionary Leader Award), and PARC's "year of" campaigns.
  • Northwest Regional Co-chair, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
    1999 - 2009
  • President, Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology
    2003 - 2005
  • Vice-President, Oregon, Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology
    2000 - 2003
  • Associate Editor, Northwestern Naturalist, Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology
    1993 - 2000

Awards & Recognition

  • Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetological Conservation, 2012
    This is a national award given by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation to an individual who has been an "unsung hero" for herpetological conservation
  • USFS Senior Leader Program graduate, 2011
    This is a national program designed to develop leaders in the US Forest Service.
  • PNW Station Director’s Award for Excellence: Distinguished Science Award, 2010
    For sustained excellence in the fundamental study of amphibian ecology and the effective delivery of that knowledge to address practical management and policy issues.
  • Top 10 Most Cited Papers, 2010
    For recent papers published by Elsevier, my paper (Olson et al. 2007) was in the Top 10 for the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Conservation priorities identified for Northwest amphibians and reptiles

At a reptile conservation conference, scientists and natural resource managers synthesized conservation concerns and priorities for 105 species ...


People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest

A new book explores the past four decades of change in forest science and management in the Pacific Northwest


Reptiles Benefit from Sage-Grouse Conservation

Greater sage-grouse are a conservation bellwether of sagebrush, one of the most threatened ecosystems of North America. Management actions for " ...


Response to Emerging Infectious Amphibian Diseases Forges New Alliances Between Science, Management, and Policy

The newly described salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is rapidly spreading in Europe, killing salamanders as it ...


Scientists Determine Ideal Buffer Width to Sustain Aquatic and Riparian Resources Along Headwater Streams

How wide does a riparian buffer need to be to maintain aquatic and riparian habitat in and along forested headwater streams when upland forest t ...


Scientists Link Amphibian Fungus to Increasing Temperature Range

Scientists find the odds of fungus occurrence decreased with increasing temperature range at a site, linking disease emergence to climatic consi ...


Strategically linking headwater habitats across ridgelines benefits amphibians and management

Federal biologists, land managers, and watershed stewardship councils are interested in this new design that maintains amphibian habitat and whi ...


Last updated on : 09/02/2021