John Pastor

John Pastor Photo
Professional Title
Professor Emeritus

Director, Natural History Minor


  • B.S., 1974, University of Pennsylvania, Geology
  • M.S., 1977, University of Wisconsin Madison, Soil Science
  • Ph.D., 1980, University of Wisconsin Madison, Forestry and Soil Science

Curriculum vitae

John Pastor received his Ph.D. in Forestry and Soil Science in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did post-doctoral research in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has been a Senior Research Associate at NRRI since 1984, Professor in Biology since 1996, and Director of Graduate Studies in Biology since 2000. His research and scholarly interests include the structure and function of northern ecosystems, applications of mathematics to ecological problems, and scientific illustration. He teaches Mathematical Ecology, Ecosystems Ecology, Animal Behavior, The Biological Practitioner, and Biological Illustration. Professor Pastor is now on phased retirement. He is no longer taking new graduate students but is willing to be a co-advisor.


Ecosystems Ecology

New Book

What Should a Clever Moose Eat? - forthcoming from Island Press


My essays, drawings, and paintings can be found at

Recent Publications

  • Pastor, J. and N. De Jager. 2013. Simulated responses of moose populations to browsing-induced changes in plant architecture and forage production. Oikos 122: 575-582.

  • Dahlberg, N. and J. Pastor. Desirable host plant qualities in wild rice (Zizania palustris) for infection by the rice worm Apamea apamiformis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). The Great Lakes Entomologist, in press.

  • Hildebrandt, L., J. Pastor, B. Dewey. 2012. Effects of external and internal nutrient supplies on decomposition of wild rice, Zizania palustris. Aquatic Botany 97: 35-43.

  • Sims, L., J. Pastor, T. Lee, and B. Dewey.  2012. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and light effects on growth and allocation of biomass and nutrient in wild rice. Oecologia 170: 65-76.

  • Sims, L., J. Pastor, T. Lee, and B. Dewey. 2012. Nitrogen, phosphorus and light effects on reproduction and fitness of wild rice. Botany 90: 876–883.


  • BIOL 4891 Animal Behavior

  • BIOL 5807 Mathematical Ecology

  • BIOL 5863 Ecosystems Ecology

  • IBS 8011 Integrated Biological Systems

Current Graduate Student Project

  • Sophia LaFond-Hudson, Ph.D., WRS

Recent Completed Graduate Student Projects

  • Diana Ostrowski, M.S. Integrated BioSciences, 2009. Thesis title: White-tailed deer browsing and the conservation of forest songbirds and understory vegetation: A natural experiment within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  • Lauren Hildebrandt, M.S., Integrated BioSciences, 2011. Thesis title: Decay and nutrient dynamics of wild rice litter in response to N and P availability and litter quality

  • Lee Sims, M.S. Integrated BioSciences, 2011. Thesis title: Light, nitrogen, and phosphorus effects on growth, allocation of biomass and nutrients, reproduction, and fitness in wild rice (Zizania palustris L.)

  • Angelique Edgerton, M.S. Integrated BioSciences, 2013. Thesis title: Structure of relict arctic plant communities along the north shore of Lake Superior